Oyster-farming debate at Milford meeting

(07/23/03) MILFORD - More than 700 people spoke out at a public hearing in Milford Wednesday night against an oyster-farming proposal. The Army Corps of Engineers is considering a proposal from Mariculture Unlimited of Bridgeport to install long-line oyster farms on about 500 acres off the coasts of Westport and Milford.

The proposal calls for the oysters to be raised in cages hanging about 10 feet below the water's surface instead of in baskets resting on the bottom. Mariculture officials said this method increases production and enables oysters to grow faster.

Some opponents of the plan said the buoys and lines would cause problems for all boaters. Other opponents admit it is a good idea, but for a different location.

It could be months before the army corps of engineers makes a permit decision.

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