Maine Coast Heritage Trust
Total Cost of Project:
Fee Acquisition with Restoration or Enhancement
This project builds on more than 40 years of conservation efforts in the Old Pond portion of the upper Skillings River in Hancock, Maine. Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) purchased a 43-acre property within the Taunton Bay Focus Area of Statewide Ecological Significance and at the heart of its Old Pond Whole Place Focus Area. The project conserves approximately 23 acres of estuarine and palustrine wetland types as well as forested wetland, a stream and buffering upland forest. This project directly preserves and restores several of the MNRCP Priority Resource Types identified for the Downeast Biophysical Region, including coastal wetland estuarine and coastal wetland marine intertidal habitats. The acquisition parcel is adjacent to a Frenchman Bay Conservancy-held conservation easement on Bear Trap Creek and has 3,200 feet of shorefront on Old Pond’s rich intertidal habitat which provides sheltered feeding and roosting habitat for a wide range of migratory shorebirds, wading birds, and waterfowl as well as bald eagles and seals. This project will also protect marsh and upland identified by the state as having high predicted resilience to sea level rise and help advance MCHT’s “Marshes for Tomorrow” initiative. The salt marsh and adjacent mudflats of the parcel have been identified as Tidal Waterfowl and Wadingbird habitat of statewide significance. Old Pond and the shoreline of the project parcel also rank in the top 20% of marshes statewide for their predicted resilience to sea-level rise.As part of the project, an undersized culvert that is restricting flow will be removed or replaced with an appropriate structure. The property will be managed as a publicly accessible preserve.