Melissa Donahue

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The working waterfront is an integral part of Maine’s coastal communities, raising millions of dollars in state revenues and generating roughly $740 million of income by way of over 26,000 fishing-related jobs in the state each year. Working waterfront property is shoreline property that supports commercial fishing and other water-dependent businesses. Although commercial fishing is often a predominant concern, other water-dependent uses include boat building, boat yards, and marinas. Despite the substantial contributions made by commercial *298 fisheries and other water-dependent businesses to the state economy, recent studies show that of the 3,500 miles of Maine shoreline property, only twenty miles remain accessible to commercial fisheries and other compatible uses. Historically, the state of Maine has employed limited property tax incentives in addition to enabling legislation for municipal zoning ordinances as part of its comprehensive coastal zone management efforts to support and protect working waterfronts. Today, the most significant contributors to the working waterfront preservation effort are some state entities and private nonprofit organizations.

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