In mid 2011, three years into its five year campaign, the Heads of the Estuaries Partnership has made dramatic progress. More than 3,000 acres and 16 miles of frontage have already been permanently protected or are under contract and funded for near term closings, thanks to:
- enthusiastic participation and contributions from HEP partners,
- generous large grants from multiple federal and state grant programs and private foundations (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Land for Maine’s Future Program, Open Space Institute and Sewall Foundation),
- support from private contributors and
- active involvement and contributions from conservation minded landowners,
Here’s a sampling of major acquisitions completed so far:
- Gouldsboro Bay: A newly protected 400+ acre parcel adjacent to an existing 400-acre costal section of National Wildlife Refuge lands offers a vital buffer, delivering clean water to the Refuge and also establishing a unified trail system that provides coastal access for walkers.
- Back Bay: More than 200 additional acres have been protected in this fabulous and expansive salt marsh.
- Pleasant Bay: Many projects have been completed in this Priority Area. One of the many exciting activities now underway, led by Pleasant River Wildlife Foundation, involves the establishment of a large new Conservation Area on the eastern shore of Pleasant Bay. This project is envisioned to grow to more than 2,000 acres by the end of 2013 through the reassembly of more than 30 individual parcels into unified fee ownership and management. Funding is in place to protect the first 500 acres by the end of 2011 and a further 850 acres during 2012. The Conservation Area will be one of the largest on the coast between mid-coast Maine to the Canadian border.
- Mason Bay: Huge strides have been made by acquiring and protecting twelve nearly contiguous parcels totaling 784 acres and 5+ miles of coastal frontage in this secluded Bay. The integrated project is called the Mason Bay Conservation Area.
- Little Kennebec Bay: The protection of 100 acres at Mill Pond Pt. has completed the permanent protection of the entire shoreline of Mill Pond.
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