We are incredibly excited to introduce you to our new website! We are deeply grateful to a fantastic volunteer, Daniel Schechtman, who made this happen. Daniel found time to completely revamp our site while holding down a full-time job and raising a young family! So, a hardy thanks to you, Daniel! We hope everyone will be as inspired as we are and will continue to support our efforts.
What We’re Up To
You may notice below that we write about Nordic in the past tense. That’s because we’re certain that even if Nordic wins all of the legal battles ahead, the company is facing serious financial issues, and is very unlikely to find the funding to build their massive, out-of-date factory. Furthermore, former Nordic CEO, Eric Heim, who mysteriously abandoned ship this summer, has reappeared advocating for an entirely different technology as compared to what Nordic would have used. Several years ago, Upstream publicly requested Nordic adopt the “best available technology” – the technology Heim is now advocating for – which includes fully closing the wastewater loop. As many of you may recall, Heim flatly refused our recommendations. It’s hard to understand how the DEP, the Governor, and the town of Belfast can still have confidence in what Nordic is proposing when Nordic’s former CEO is now advocating technological changes Upstream proposed! The use of the best available technology is a key element of our DEP appeal, as it is, in fact, the law under the Clean Water Act. On a sadder note, many of you know we lost our beloved Sally Brophy (please scroll to the bottom of the linked page) shortly after our Hoot event this summer. None of us can fully digest this loss, and all of us who love the Little River and the Bay owe her an incredible debt. While our hearts are broken, we also celebrate her and her extraordinary courage and determination to protect the Little River ecosystem and Penobscot Bay. Many of her beautiful photographs are featured on our site. Please take a look around the site and see what you think. Whether you are interested in pollution of the bay, mercury, the massive use of water this factory would have required, or its huge climate impact, you can learn about it here, or for a deeper dive, you can go here. We also want people to learn as much as they can about the factory farming of fish in general. To do so, please check out our News & Update page, as well as the Media Page. More and more groups are learning and reporting the truth about the factory farming of fish, whether it is on land or netpen. While this industry aggressively uses “feeding the poor” as a public media tactic, the reality is the industry is run by the extremely wealthy at the expense of the some of the most vulnerable people in the world, the oceans and the climate. The poor are losing essential food so that factory farming corporations can make billions feeding the well-to-do a toxic product.
We are currently waiting for the Maine Supreme Court to decide on the Title Right and Interest (TRI) case. We are also waiting to learn when our lawyers will present their oral arguments concerning our appeal of the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) permit for Nordic. We also must appeal a recent decision concerning our appeal of Belfast’s permits as we were, once again, told Upstream does not have legal standing, even though we’ve had legal standing from the beginning. So, as always, we need help to pay these legal fees.
We now have a page where you can write a letter to your representatives. We highly encourage you to do so. Politicians need to know that their constituents are concerned about this issue, and about losing the coast of Maine to industrial aquaculture. There is a template there for you to get started, but feel free to contact us for support. Finally, Upstream is excited to announce that we are working on our vision statement and will be sharing this soon. We’re committed not only to defending the Midcoast’s waters, and especially the Upper Penobscot Bay, from pollution, but also championing the restoration of the magnificent gifts that healthy, clean waters and thriving ecosystems provide. We dream of a time when the full suite of native wild fish and shellfish are flourishing in cool, clean waters of the bay and rivers, and our local fishing communities are truly protected and prospering. We imagine our young people, especially those of modest means, being trained in the art and science of marine ecosystem protection, river restoration, wetland revitalization, eel grass regeneration and more so that they may thrive – while assisting other communities to do the same. Please join us, and share our new site with your family, friends and representatives!