Bill To Let Wormers, Clammers Dig At Acadia National Park Clears House Committee

Dec 13, 2017

Prospects for wormers and clammers digging in the intertidal zone of Acadia National Park improved today after a U.S. House panel voted for the Acadia National Park Boundary Clarification Act.

Sponsored by U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin of Maine’s 2nd District and U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District, the measure was unanimously approved by the House Committee on Natural Resources, a result that Poliquin described as a credit to the Mainers who spoke out in favor of clarifying protocols at Acadia.

“We received input from our wormers,” he said. “There are about 900 families that depend on the flats around Acadia National Park and other parts of our coast to dig for blood and sand worms.”

Milbridge wormer Donnie Bayrd shows off his harvest in February.
Credit A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

Poliquin said both parties found common ground on the issue.

“This is not politics at all, it’s about jobs, it’s about clarifying the borders at Acadia National Park and help our local communities,” he said. “But we’ve got to get this done and I’m not going to quit until we get it over the finish line.”

Poliquin said the House bill also includes the ratification of the 2015 Schoodic Woods land transfer to the National Park Service and clarifies land acquisition policies at the park. A section of the bill that would have set aside some park land for a solid waste facility was rejected by the panel as an earmark.

The issue faces additional votes in the House and Senate.

This story has been corrected to indicate that the flats at issue are located in the intertidal zone of Acadia National Park, rather than "near" the park's "shoreline."