Harpswell finds new harbormaster in Brunswick

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HARPSWELL — The deputy harbormaster in Brunswick will take over as Harpswell’s full-time harbormaster May 15.

Paul Plummer, who has served as a marine patrol officer and deputy harbormaster in the Brunswick Police Department for more than six years, accepted the position April 27 after the Board of Selectmen unanimously voted to bring him aboard.

“He’s a perfect fit,” Selectman Kevin Johnson said at last week’s meeting, comparing him to “a younger Jim (Hays).”

Hays, who has served as the town’s first full-time harbormaster for 12 years and modernized the role, announced last month he would retire May 5.

Plummer was hired following a closed-door interview with selectmen April 24.

He was selected over eight other candidates, whose applications were reviewed by a committee of town officials, including Johnson.

Plummer’s annual salary will be $38,750.

Hays has said he will help train his replacement, who is set to begin after Hays has officially retired.

On Monday, Plummer said he looks forward to getting to know Harpswell’s regional geography and fishing communities.

“Being a resource and making yourself available is 60 percent of the job,” he said, noting how he developed a strong, familiar rapport with Brunswick fishermen and harvesters over his tenure, often giving out his personal cell phone number.

“I think I’m very diverse,” he added. “I’ve also prided myself in being to be able to get along with all types of people.”

Alongside Brunswick’s harbormaster, he helped oversee 350 registered moorings and over 50 shellfish licenses in waters bordering Harpswell.

Town Administrator Kristi Eiane pointed out last week that Plummer holds numerous advanced harbormaster and rescue certifications that qualify him for the position. He is also a certified municipal shellfish warden.

Eiane also indicated that Plummer will play a more involved role in the town’s efforts to strengthen its aquaculture endeavors.

“Aquaculture is becoming a huge (topic) in northern Casco Bay,” said Plummer, who was involved in Brunswick’s municipal-led program to grow oysters off the Mere Point boat launch.

Going forward, Plummer said he will advance Harpswell’s expansion of aquaculture sites and programs by acting as a “middle man” between the town, harvesters, and waterfront property owners.

It will be a job, he said, that will involve advocating for aquaculture’s benefits and sustainability among area residents and fishermen who may be wary of change.

Callie Ferguson can be reached at 781-3661, ext. 100, or cferguson@theforecaster.net. Follow Callie on Twitter: @calliecferguson.

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Reporting on municipal, school, and community news in Brunswick and Harpswell. Bowdoin graduate, Wild Oats sandwich-eater. Callie can be reached at 207-781-3661 ext. 100, or cferguson@theforecaster.net.