Friends of Harriet L. Hartley Conservation Foundation will introduce the organization to the Midcoast with an open house at its first annual meeting Saturday, Oct. 19, at 10 a.m. at The Little River Center, 290 Northport Ave., Belfast. LRC is located directly across Route 1 from the entrance to Belfast Water District.

The recently formed citizen-action organization has joined the controversy surrounding Nordic Aquafarms’ proposed fish-raising operation on the outskirts of Belfast.

The annual meeting is open to the public and will be followed by a press conference with Jeffrey Mabee and leaders of the organization. Immediately following the press conference, Mabee will unveil three all-weather signposts indicating the extent of the high-water mark that designates the upper boundary of the intertidal zone.

The Grace-Mabee property is at the center of the current controversy over Nordic’s plans to build a land-based, commercial salmon-raising factory across the road on a site now owned by the Water District.

At the meeting tomorrow, the “Friends” will stake the organization's claim to the tidal flats owned by Judith Grace and Jeffrey Mabee and currently placed in conservation easement, the group said Oct. 11 in a news release. The Friends becomes the third locally backed group to form that is concerned about the impacts of siting the aquaculture facility on the shore of Belfast Bay.

Friends of Harriet L. Hartley Conservation area formed this fall with the goal of preserving intertidal zones along Belfast Bay, the group said in its news release. Grace and Mabee put the tract of tidal land just north of the mouth of the Little River into a conservation easement to secure its undeveloped nature for future generations. They named it after Dr. Harriet L. Hartley, a previous owner who deliberately reserved the intertidal zone across her original property to be enjoyed by all and protected from commercial development forever, according to the news release.

For more information about the Friends of HLH Conservation Area, contact Andy Stevenson  at 703-407-2968 or with “Friends of HLH” in the subject line.

filed under: