I have no direct connection to coastal issues like Sears Island; however, I pay taxes and am concerned for Maine’s future. I have read about the project and I attended a Friends of Sears Island presentation. Through 50 years the island has been protected from oil, nuclear, coal and natural gas types of power. The current proposal for building offshore windmills means Maine could lead the East Coast through wind turbines that would be erected far off the shores of Maine and other states. But everything must be evaluated.

For an almost 1,000-acre block of land, 600 acres are permanently conserved and the hiking trails would remain. Surely educational programs will continue and probably expand as students study wind and tides. Technical programs can specifically focus on windmill construction enlarging our kids’ opportunities. And we would insist on a visitor education plan.

The current protesters want the state of Maine to bypass its ownership of 335 acres and place the windmill program in Portland, Eastport or at least on Mack Point. However, a pilot raised the problems of wind and tides affecting boat docking at Mack Point so the protesters suggested Sproul’s dock as an alternative landing location. But why should Maine (our taxes) perpetually pay rental fees when we already own Sears Island land?

Learning that men quit better-paying jobs at Mack Point because of concerns that chemicals affected their health also prompted my unease. Not all work at that location is an issue but it should be evaluated. Cianbro is dredging the Penobscot River and 10,000 cubic yards will go to landfills. Should Mack Point be covered and built higher for future expansion?

Front Street Shipyard has added greatly to enjoyment of the Belfast waterfront and become a source of city pride. Maine’s foundation has been logs and ships and every time a unique boat is refurbished at a Maine boatyard, the story makes the news. Offshore windmill parts arriving by boat, built in Maine and leaving to be installed offshore, require a bigger discussion than an automatic “No.” Maybe no will be the correct response again, but that decision requires a strong foundation. Questions at a time of global warming when Maine needs to retain its young people deserve a thorough investigation.

Leslie Woods