Most of the scenes are foggy. The people pictured are hard at work. The text is straightforward: “this is not a promotional brochure … like songbirds, diesel engines all have their own unique sounds … a working waterfront … is not a place of manicured lawns and carefully landscaped gardens…”

In eight color pages, the Beals-Jonesport Working Waterfront Brochure Committee does what it can to persuade visitors and new community members that a “functional” seaport and “active” fishing village isn’t necessarily a pretty place.

“The issue kept coming up,” said a member of the committee, Velton Peabody, the Beals First Selectman, referring to what he called the “tension” between longtime, working residents and others who might have come to the area after their working lives had ended.

“We had people coming to the area without an adequate understanding of the nature of the area,” Peabody said. “We decided, ‘wouldn’t it be nice to have something we could hand to people.’ ”

Supported by community leaders and assisted by the Washington County Council of Governments, the Waterfront Brochure Committee made use of comments from community surveys taken in connection with community planning efforts in Jonesport and Beals. They also looked at a couple of other efforts to inform people about community life – one in Stonington, one elsewhere, according to Judy East of the Council of Governments.

“There were tensions between those who had moved to the area, bought their little piece of paradise and didn’t realize what it was all about” and longtime local residents busy earning a living, East said. One of the communities had “a big fight over a noise ordinance,” she said, and the experience soured committee members, at least, on the regulatory approach. “We wanted to come up with a brochure that said ‘this is what it’s all about,’ ” she said.

The text begins with sounds: “can you tell the difference between the high whine of a Detroit or the low rumble of a Caterpillar? Both are used on fishing boats…” It turns to sights: “A working waterfront has people in it. The tools of their trade are evident everywhere you look…” Smells: “In addition to the salty summer breezes and the aroma of spruce and fir, there are other odors at the more pungent end of the spectrum. While it may wrinkle your nose, to fishermen the smell of bait is the smell of money…”

Touch: “…like the typical car commercial, the travel photos are all shot from newly paved roads. After a few wheel alignments, cracked windshields from driving over gravel roads, and ever-higher tax bills to pay for road repairs, you will be well acquainted with the touch decisions of a rural balance sheet: pavement or gravel? Full-time or part-time police protection? Garbage pickup or pay-as-you-throw?” Tastes: “The tang of the salt air teaches your lips while you comb the beach for shells, but if you do not conserve fresh water, salt water will be pouring from your tap as well.”

The text ends with a few observations on community – reliance on liability insurance instead of helping one another; reluctance to get involved because one might get “blamed”; increased posting of private property and wharves. “Building trust takes time and energy,” the brochure’s authors state – “the energy of reaching out and communicating. Newcomers are welcomed to the community, but cautiously…those who have joined the community most successfully are those who learn about it, appreciate it, and participate in it…”

The committee had 1,500 brochures printed, and reports positive reactions so far. “We gave a lot of consideration to the text, particularly the tone,” East said.