The Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC) has approved a plan to dredge a portion of the small harbor at privately owned Lassell Island in Penobscot Bay off Camden. The project is designed to improve access to the island.

Working with a consultant, the island’s owner offered to remove and re-plant eelgrass in the vicinity of the dredged area. Approximately 16,400 cubic yards of spoils are to be dumped at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ site off Rockland.

The owner, Chris Page of Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, has an informal agreement allowing two local fishermen, Arthur Andrews and David Emery, to use the harbor and a pier there that he plans to rebuild.

In a letter to the commission, Philip Conkling, president of the Island Institute, commended LURC and Page for their efforts to minimize environmental damage and maximize the public benefit, but urged the commission to formalize Page’s existing arrangement with the fishermen as a way to preserve scarce working waterfront. The commission’s final permit did not go that far, but Page has offered to write a “letter of intent” to protect access during his ownership of the island.