Microbes are essential

Sometimes it’s the things we can’t see that end up telling a larger, truer story.

As a lobsterman I understand the need to keep our waters healthy. Recently, I learned a lot about the importance of microorganisms in a healthy ocean. Those tiny, microscopic creatures feed our fish, lobsters and shellfish in their early life stages.

Kingfish wants to pull out 28 million gallons of water a day from Chandler Bay. At a meeting earlier this year, the operations manager stated that everything that was pulled out of the water would be UV treated, heated and killed. When people started to get nervous about that, she suddenly came up with a piece of mesh saying it would stop the lobster larvae from coming through.

Whether or not her recent claims are true, what I do know is that the microorganisms that are so important to the bay will still be brought in, UV treated, heated, and returned dead to the bay.

If you read on the Smithsonian website about how important microbes are, there is no doubt that they microbes, which are invisible to the naked eye, play an important part of what makes an ecosystem work. In fact, it says, “Microbes are essential for a thriving ocean ecosystem. Without them, the world we know would not exist.” And, “Just because these microbes can’t be seen does not mean they are unimportant. Microbes are often the engines of ecosystems that otherwise would not have access to the food and nutrients they need. Many are also the keepers of healthy ecosystems, cleaning the ocean of waste and often defending against disease rather than spreading it.” You can fact check me here: ocean.si.edu/ocean-life/microbes/marine-microbes.

I believe in the planning board, that as longtime residents of this community they know the impact this project will have and what it could mean. I wish them well as they undertake this next phase.

Travis Beal
Beals Island
Machias Valley News Observer, August 3, 2022