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North Shore lawmaker tries to create marine sanctuary off Mashpee; viewed as attempt to stop oyster farm

May 6, 2014 (MASHPEE) _ A state representative from the North Shore is trying to create a “special coastal resource sanctuary” in Mashpee.

            And it’s being viewed as a way to stop a local man from establishing an aquaculture grant.

            According to the Mashpee Enterprise -- the measure was quietly inserted into the house budget without knowledge of local representatives by Newburyport Rep. Michael Costello.

            The words Mashpee or Popponesset were never used in the language of the bill – just the latitude and longitude.

            Mashpee resident Richard Cook has been trying for years to establish an oyster farm in the area – which has been opposed by waterfront residents.

            Every attempt they’ve made to stop the project has been rejected by town board and the courts.

            Now it appears opponents have used legislative maneuvers to slip the sanctuary provision into the House budget.

            Mashpee officials worry the designation could impact their ability to conduct dredging around Popponesset.

            The provision would still need approval in the Senate budget and ultimate approval  by the governor.



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