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Corea project awarded USDA grant

US Long-simmering plans to convert the former US Navy communications centre in Corea into an aquaculture business park are off the back burner after the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Thursday that it is awarding a $73,516 grant to the project.

The Rural Business Enterprise Grant is being provided through the USDA’s Rural Development division. Those funds will be combined with a $335,000 Maine Community Development Block Grant awarded last year to the town of Gouldsboro to help underwrite the costs of designing and building a seawater circulation system at the proposed Gulf of Maine Aquaculture Business Park.

The Maine Technology Institute has conditionally approved up to $200,000 for the project, according to John Holden, director of business development for the Eastern Maine Development Corp. (EMDC).

The Acadia Capital Group, a Bangor-based nonprofit affiliate of EMDC, now owns 40 acres of the former US Navy complex that once occupied 450 acres off Route 195 between the Gouldsboro villages of Prospect Harbor and Corea.

Holden expects the business park to attract as many as 15 businesses involved in land-based commercial aquaculture activities, such as fish farming.

Among the park’s first tenants, he said, would be Maine Halibut Farms of Holden, which has been developing methods of growing halibut from eggs to market size at a facility within the University of Maine’s Center for Cooperative Aquaculture in Franklin.

Source: The Ellsworth American