In response to a recent article, “DEP cites multiple violations at popular Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens,” we thought it important to provide the following clarifying facts.

The four minor erosion control incidents noted in the recent DEP violation notice occurred this past winter and spring after unusually heavy rain events and subsequent to prior weekly inspections by a third-party engineer — not because of negligence or improper control installations.

All were simply temporary muddy water incursions — not landslides. All were corrected within hours and caused only minor and transient impact to small wooded wetlands directly adjacent to the project. There is a full-time certified erosion control professional at the site working directly with the DEP inspectors and the local building code officer. The cause of half of the incidents were suspicious, reoccurring in one small area of repeated trespass and sabotage.

An additional incident related to an inadvertent impact to a small forested wetland swale that was created by the construction of our entrance road in 2005. This area is being restored.

Protection of our wetlands continues to be a top priority for Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Our contractors have been vigilant and proactive in deploying erosion control measures using state of the art methods — sometimes doubling or tripling perimeter controls in areas of concern. The minor incidents above were mostly in one area that constitutes less than 1 percent of the total linear feet of erosion control in place.

Our facility is implementing the master plan projects under permits granted by nine governmental and regulatory entities. The projects are an “as of right” use of our land that involves only 12 percent of the total acreage owned. When complete, this project will bring up to an additional 140 year-round jobs and more than $120 million in annual economic impact to Maine. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is first a botanical garden centered on stewardship of the environment, long-term sustainability, and educational programs.

David Emery wrote this behalf of the building committee of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Harbor.

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