$1 million federal grant to protect Maine coastal lands

BY RAMONA DU HOUX

April 12th, 2014 

Several conservation groups in Maine would receive a $1 million federal North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant to protect valuable coastal lands across the state.

In York County, funds will provide matching dollars for Kittery Land Trust’s Brave Boat Harbor Headwaters project and efforts by the York Land Trust to protect land along the York River. The projects are part of the Mount Agamenticus to the Sea(MtA2C) conservation initiative, an effort to protect significant lands in the largest un-fragmented coastal forest between Acadia National Park and the New Jersey Pine Barrens. The MtA2C partnership includes several private groups, state agencies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge.

“The lands these groups in York County are working to protect represent some of the most diverse and critical wildlife habitat in the Northeast,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. “Moreover, they are key to protecting water quality, fisheries, and the unique character in some of Maine’s fastest growing communities. My appreciation and congratulations go out to all the partners who are working so hard to conserve these key lands for future generations.”

The NAWCA grant will also help fund efforts by Maine Coast Heritage Trust to purchase Mahoney Island—a seabird nesting island—in Hancock County to donate to the Maine Coastal National Wildlife Refuge.

Pingree is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and sits on the subcommittee that oversees funding for the National Park System, National Wildlife Refuges, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.