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.
Doug has 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. As a matter of fact, we designed our business to support the community.
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.
Our seed comes from our local hatcheries: Muscongus Bay Aquaculture in Breman a well as Mook Seafarm in Edgcome.
Our neighbors, Paul’s Marina and Smith Boat Yard have provided critical infrastructure help.
Maine SeaGrant has also been a critical organization for us. They have been running instructional aquaculture workshops along the coast and linking farms together to promote oyster businesses through the Maine Oyster Trail.
We also must mention the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, which supports locally-harvested Maine products like our oysters through their weekly Farmer’s Market.
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.