When you come from a 5th generation Maine family, you’re invested in your community. We couldn’t do this without help from people in our community. And, that’s why we don’t want to do this without giving back to our community. The reason we got into this business is that we care deeply about Maine’s working waterfront communities and the health of the coastal resources they depend upon. We don’t just want to see those communities persist; we want to help them to thrive.
Our commitment to our community began long before MPOC. As Brunswick’s Harbor Master, Dan helped develop the town’s coastal waters management plan, which includes management of wild shellfisheries; and as Marine Warden, he created the Maine Shellfish Warden Association, which has active roles on the state wide shellfish advisory panels. He also was a founding member of The Tidelands Coalition (TLC), a nonprofit dedicated to finding sustainable solutions to marine resources issues along the coast. In addition to Doug’s role as owner of The Times Record, he has also served on Brunswick’s Rivers and Coastal Waters Commission, advocating for the protection of the town’s coastal ecosystems.
When we were ready to start our business, we relied on our community to support us and designed our business to support it. We asked other oyster farmers, scientists, and shellfish harvesters to share their expertise with us and we have been amazed by their generosity and spirit of collaboration. From our seed, which comes from Muscongus Bay Aquaculture in Breman to Mook Seafarm which provided guidance on gear design right down to MPOC’s neighbors, Paul’s Marina and Smith Boat yard, which have provided critical infrastructure help. Then, there’s Maine SeaGrant that has been running instructional aquaculture workshops along the coast and linking farms together to promote oyster businesses through the Maine Oyster Trail. And, the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, which supports locally-harvested Maine products like our oysters through their weekly Farmer’s Market. Click here for a full list of our partners, as there are too many to include here! That’s why we love living and working on the Maine coast. There’s a spirit of doing something bigger.
In addition to continuing to build upon these partnerships, we are dedicated to aquaculture education. We see our farm as a community resource for those interested in starting their own sustainable aquaculture operations. This reaches down through all generations from fishermen who have been working on the coast for many years to young students who want to find a way to earn a living working on the waterfront. Dan has already been working with Brunswick High School students on a clam seeding project and Junior High Students as a part of their Connect with Casco Bay project. In the future, MPOC hopes to have students visit their farms and take part in both the business side of operations as well as conducting environmental monitoring.
At our core, we want to be part of a thriving working waterfront that supports our local community for generations to come.
Partnering Businesses and Organizations
- Casco Bay Shellfish – knowledge, information and access to wholesale markets
- Darling Marine Center – research and support
- DownStream Inc – environmental assessment
- Friends of Casco Bay – environmental monitoring on water quality, species diversity and microplastics
- Green Boat Oysters – guidance and support
- Gulf of Maine Research Institute – research and support for the possibility of an Aquaculture Co-op
- Kennebec Bio Sciences – pathology and histology
- Mook Seafarm – guidance and gear design
- Maine Department of Marine Resources – guidance through the lease process
- Maine SeaGrant – education and training
- NICE Oyster Company – help and guidance throughout the process
- Pauls Marina – critical infrastructure help and microplastics monitoring
- Pine Point Oysters – a partnering farm in our scallop research
- Resource Access International – biological monitoring assistance
- Smith Boat Yard – critical infrastructure help
- Town of Brunswick, Marine Resources – resources and support