Letter: Clammer supports Gerzofsky for Dist. 10

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As member of the Freeport Shellfish Commission, a lifetime clammer and an advocate for clean coastal waters, I am writing to express my strong support for Stan Gerzofsky for the Maine State Senate representing District 10.

I’ve seen first-hand why Stan has gained a reputation in Augusta as a legislator who can get things done for the working man and Maine’s small businesses. In the last few years, he was able to lead the way on legislation that has, without a doubt, saved Maine’s $50 million shellfish industry. He helped save jobs and the Maine tradition of digging for wild Maine soft-shell clams (“steamers”).

Stan has accomplished this by advocating for clean water and applying common sense and modern approaches to environmental issues. He has rooted out government incompetence. While Stan may get more attention for the hundreds of decent jobs he recently worked to bring to the former Brunswick Naval Air Station, Stan also deserves recognition for what he has done for Maine’s shellfish harvesters.

For example, his work to bring in new policies and new faces to the Department of Marine Resources helped lead to the re-classification of the New Meadows Lake Estuary in 2009. Long closed, this important harvesting area re-opened. The timing of that re-classification happened to coincide with a decline in local soft-shell clam stocks. As a result, many shellfish harvesters were able to diversify and adjust their harvesting to the most appropriate resource at the time, allowing soft-shell stocks to recover. Because Stan and DMR responded to the situation the harvesting season was significantly more productive than it otherwise would have been.

I hope you will join me in voting for Stan Gerzofsky in 2010.

Chad Coffin