Oyster Farm Amendment Removed From State Budget

An amendment to the state budget that would have prevented a local shellfisherman from operating a Popponesset oyster farm was stripped from the state budget on Monday, June 30.

The amendment, which was filed by Massachusetts State Representative Michael A. Costello (D-Newburyport), would have designated Richard J. Cook’s aquaculture grant as a “special coastal resource sanctuary”—although it did not specify the location of the oyster farm in question.

The exclusion of the amendment marks the end of a nearly four-year legal battle between Mr. Cook and a group of Popponesset and Daniels Island homeowners determined to keep him from operating a 1.9-acre aquaculture grant. Last Monday, the homeowners took their dispute to the next step by filing an appeal with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

However, State Representative David T. Vieira (R-Falmouth) said that the amendment was removed completely when legislators voted on the 2015 budget on Monday.

“We’re glad it’s out,” Mr. Vieira said.

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