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Focus on Bar Harbor cruise ship clash overlooks environmental impact

The cruise ship Maasdam was docked in Bar Harbor, Maine, just off the waterfront, in August 2017 as visitors walked along the scenic Shore Path.JohnTlumacki

I was disappointed with Thomas Farragher’s commentary on the controversy over cruise ships in Bar Harbor, Maine (“Barred Harbor,” Page A1, Jan. 16). Nowhere was the environmental impact of large cruise ships mentioned.

Farragher seemed to limit his focus to the merchants’ economic interests vs. the concerns of others about overcrowding a small town.

The growing presence of large polluting cruise ships in the waters of a National Park region raises serious environmental concerns, as does the history of flouting existing environmental regulations by some cruise companies.

Setting up a dichotomy between the interests of the retail economy and the interests of those who want to preserve a small town’s character ignores the ways in which environmental degradation harms us all. Certainly coverage of environmental impact should have been part of a well-researched front-page feature article.


Ann Epstein


The writer is a longtime summer resident on Mount Desert Island, Maine.