You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Editorial

Cape Cod oyster farm: Legislature’s slippery move

Who knew that oyster aquaculture troubled some state legislators so much? A state representative recently slipped a provision into a budget bill that would effectively prevent an entrepreneur from opening a planned oyster farm off Mashpee. Instead, lawmakers voted to protect that precise area as a “marine sanctuary.” But lawmakers’ tears for the oysters seem a bit insincere, and if the provision makes it out of the reconciliation process, Governor Patrick should veto it.

The oyster plan, which has been approved by local authorities, calls for a 2-acre farm in Popponesset Bay. That’s approximately 100 miles from the Newburyport district of the amendment’s sponsor, Michael A. Costello, who acted at the behest of Beacon Hill lobbyists. Neither of the two lawmakers who actually represent Mashpee knew anything about the amendment beforehand, and both have raised objections.

Continue reading below

So what gives? Costello, who is retiring at the end of this session and won’t have to answer to voters in Newburyport, much less Mashpee, insists his amendment is good policy. So good, it seems, that airing it in public beforehand was unnecessary.

But the oyster farm does threaten to impinge on the views of wealthy landowners nearby, including investment banker Chuck Clough, on whose behalf the lobbying company ML Strategies approached Costello. The Legislature has no business short-circuiting individual projects, especially amid so little public debate, and the provision should never become law.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.