Pebbles, seaweed, old bricks and barnacle-encrusted boulders make up the shore of Sears Island on Nov. 14, 2017, in Searsport. Credit: Aislinn Sarnacki / BDN

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In May of 2020 my son graduated from high school. Due to the identification of the first cases of COVID-19 in the state of Maine, instead of visiting admissions offices during the spring of his senior year to discuss his college options, our family took long walks together while we worked through different choices. The backdrop for these chats that would influence the times ahead? A local treasure — Sears Island.

A haven for birds, insects, small mammals, marine life — and for us. While walking on Sears Island, my son made his decision to accept an ecology research scholarship and attend the University of Maine; he has since led bird walks and shared his research on monarch migration on Sears Island. Myself, I enjoy walking the forested trails and the level beaches of Sears Island; it is a beautiful, but importantly also accessible, place for people of varied levels of hiking abilities.

Currently, Sears Island is a potential site for a proposed off-shore wind farm. While renewable energy resources are important for Maine, significant industrial development will be necessary to establish the port. Why not place the port across the bay at Mack Point? It is already developed.

Will we really pave paradise to put up a parking lot, among other things? Isn’t it ironic that our plans for “green” energy could involve industrializing and contaminating one of Maine’s greenest pristine islands? Isn’t the point of renewable energy to take care of our natural resources?

Trish Hutchins