I am a 20-year-old native of Belfast and am attending the University of Maine at Farmington, currently studying environmental policy and planning, with a concentration in economics. In addition, I am also completing a Regulatory Ethics Certificate through the University of Southern Maine.
I am a concerned citizen.
I am concerned with the future of my community.
I am concerned for the environment.
I am concerned for the economic viability of where I live.
I am concerned for the future I hope to see in Belfast.
I am concerned for authenticity of the place I call home, and I am concerned that the so called "informed public" rejects the science behind the salmon farm project.
Since the first weeks of February, I have searched scientific databases for case studies, peer reviewed journals and information about the net-pen and land based aquaculture industries.
Furthermore I have reached out to those in the industry, interviewing, connecting and learning about the environmental impacts and the economic viability of a project such as this.
I have developed my own analysis, citing these journals, and articles, that are truly science based.
How frustrating it is to live in a world where people do not wish to learn. I have attended numerous public meetings, I have spoken at all but one and not once have I felt heard by the people of my community against the project. Knowledge is power, but in Belfast so is misinformation.
This project has the opportunity to provide so much to Belfast. Let’s not shut it down too soon.
Alicia Gaiero lives in Belfast