It was nice to hear oyster farmers' point of view

Posted 8/17/21

To the editor:

I was delighted by the interview, “Bowens speak on Seapowet oyster plan” (Sakonnet Times, Aug 12).  It allowed these honest and wonderful individuals who have …

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It was nice to hear oyster farmers' point of view

Posted

To the editor:

I was delighted by the interview, “Bowens speak on Seapowet oyster plan” (Sakonnet Times, Aug 12).  It allowed these honest and wonderful individuals who have owned, farmed, and preserved agricultural land for produce for many years in the tradition of their family heritage a chance to answer unfounded public charges.

Despite the waters belonging to all of us, shoreline access is contentious throughout the state. The Bowens purchased a small plot to allow access to an acre of sea bottom and hope to secure the rights from the state to operate an oyster farm. Through the permitting process, the Bowens have changed the farming methods and adjusted the site plan to accommodate the requests of other users of the water. I wonder how many of those posting signs in opposition have visited a family oyster farm that uses similar methods to witness how unobtrusive and passive the operations are.

Dr. Andy Rhyne, a noted aquaculture specialist and professor at Roger Williams University, wrote a letter several weeks ago, which described the importance of oysters in cleaning and renewing salt water in the coastal areas. The environmental benefits are undeniable, and the oyster farming activity in no way diminishes the uses of the water above the submerged oyster growing cages. I would suggest that those who have posted these signs consider the advantages of the oyster farm. They might reconsider their positions if the choice were living with the unclean water from septic, driveway, and agricultural runoff.

Patrick and Sean are probably the best stewards of property that one could hope for in Rhode Island.

Johanna McKenzie

Little Compton

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Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Newspapers team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaynewspapers.com.