New Effort Would Preserve More Than 100 Acres Of Undeveloped Maine Land

Sep 20, 2020

A land conservation organization is launching an effort to preserve more than 100 acres of land in a region of Maine that is under increasing pressure from the real estate market.

"What we're doing here is trying to preserve the traditional access that people have had to undeveloped islands in Casco Bay," says Keith Fletcher, project manager with Maine Coast Heritage Trust.

Fletcher says the organization has been given a rare option to purchase three small islands in Harpswell: Little Whaleboat, Nate and Tuck. Fletcher says access to such places in Casco Bay is becoming increasingly rare.

"As the area has grown and people have purchased these islands, some of them are being posted against, you know, use and trespass, and we just want to make sure that people have places to go and visit and camp and bring the kids and enjoy kind of what it's like to be Maine, and to live in Maine."

The biggest chunk of the acreage however is in Yarmouth, with 82 acres of salt marshland.

Fletcher says marshlands are an incredibly important habitat.

"With sea level rise, they are in trouble. So this Yarmouth project is an opportunity to actually do something about that, and to ensure that marshes are allowed to migrate. If that land were purchased and developed and the shoreline hardened, the marsh would disappear."

Fletcher says the organization will need to raise $3.5 million over the next year to complete the purchases.