October 01, 2019
BRUNSWICK, ME – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) launched his two-week Maine work period by visiting the Ryan Home Project, Atlantic Sea Farms, and Ready Seafood in York County. Over the next two weeks, Senator King will travel from York to Aroostook to listen directly to Maine people and businesses about the work being done in their communities and the challenges they face.
Senator King’s first meeting today was at the Ryan Home Project – a facility that provides a home-base for area homeless youth to discuss challenges and potential areas of collaboration with the federal government. In March, Senator King led a bipartisan bill to ensure students who have experienced homelessness or are currently homeless can access affordable housing while pursuing their education.
“Each and every meeting with Maine people leaves me in awe of their adaptability and drive to improve their communities,” said Senator King. “By building support system for homeless youth, the team at Ryan Home Project is doing more than providing housing – they’re providing a place for these young people to call home. Their work to care for our most vulnerable community members is an inspiration that informs my work in Washington. I look forward to spending the next two weeks connecting with other Maine people throughout our state – from York to Aroostook – who are doing similarly vital work. I can’t wait to learn from them and find new opportunities to support their efforts on behalf of our communities.”
Later in the day, Senator King visited Atlantic Sea Farms, a kelp processing facility that partners with local fishermen and Maine lobstermen to grow, process, and market seaweed products for food service and retail customers, where he discussed aquaculture as an emerging industry in Maine. He ended his day by touring Ready Seafood’s new 52,000 square foot facility in Saco. The facility houses the largest lobster processing operation in Maine, and is in the process of hiring approximately 50 new employees in the area.
“From the storied lobster fishery to the growing aquaculture industry, Maine’s waters are one of our state’s greatest economic assets,” said Senator King. “These companies are leaders in these vital sectors, and their innovative, sustainable approaches will help them continue to play a major role in our state for years to come.”
Often seen around the Capitol in one of his signature lobster ties, Senator King is a strong advocate for Maine’s marine economy. In May, he visited Atlantic Sea Farm’s partner Bangs Island Mussels to highlight aquaculture as an emerging industry that can make significant contributions to Maine’s overall economy. He has fought for Maine’s lobster industry as it faces a number of threats, and last week published an op-ed in the Ellsworth American highlighting the threats posed by regulations, tariffs, and climate change to this industry. In September, he joined the Maine delegation to make recommendations to federal fisheries officials for changes to proposed regulations on the Maine lobster industry. In June, Senator King joined the Maine delegation to urge President Donald Trump to provide relief to members of the lobster industry affected by the ongoing trade war with China – much as American farmers received government support to mitigate negative economic consequences.