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Penobscot elders host water ceremony on conservation area despite dispute on Nordic Aquafarms project

A water ceremony was held on Friday by Penobscot Elders at Harriet L Hartley Conservation Area on Penobscot Bay.

BELFAST, Maine — A dispute is heating up in Belfast over an area where a proposed salmon farm abuts a conservation area.

A water ceremony was held on Friday by Penobscot Elders at Harriet L Hartley Conservation Area on Penobscot Bay.

Andrew Stevenson with the conservation group said the dispute is over the proposed Nordic Aquafarms project.

Stevenson said the city of Belfast is getting involved by notifying that they want a section of the intertidal zone near their property.

"In addition, the city of Belfast has decided to join Nordic Aquafarms in an attempt to take the intertidal zone by using eminent domain," Stevenson said. "This process isn’t used very much in Maine and we have gone to court with an argument to clearly show that their alleged need is really just to get Nordic’s Pipelines through that intertidal area and out into the bay."

Kathy Paul, the Penobscot elder who performed Friday's ceremony, said our water is sacred and precious and water is life and that’s why she wanted to do this.

Stevenson said they have not been notified by the court on when the case will be taken up.

Credit: NCM
A water ceremony was held on Friday by Penobscot Elders at Harriet L Hartley Conservation Area on Penobscot Bay.