Partnering to Protect the Maine Coast
More than 20 individuals and dozens of organizations partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Gulf of Maine Coastal Program during fiscal year 2003 to permanently protect 4,232.4 acres and 17.1 river miles of high value fish and wildlife habitat. Protected lands include three seabird nesting islands, five parcels of important habitat in the increasingly urbanized Casco Bay watershed in the Greater Portland area, four coastal wetlands that benefit migratory birds, eight riparian buffers serve diadromous fish, and a large parcel of forestlands.
The three seabird islands were incorporated into the Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge. The forestlands were added to the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. The remainder of the lands were acquired in fee or easement by local land trusts, non-government conservation organizations in the Maine, or the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
These lands were protected through a variety of voluntary, non-regulatory, pro-active partnerships designed to address landscape-scale habitat-based priorities. Partners include Federal and State agencies, non-government conservation groups, corporate sponsors, environmental consulting firms, landowners, and private foundations.
Partners typically provide locally-based knowledge, technical skills, additional funding sources, leadership and negotiation capabilities. The Fish and Wildlife Service staff provides biological information, restoration design, partnership coordination, implementation support, fundraising skills, and outreach support.
In total the $891,500 in federal funds were joined with more than $3 million in matching funds from partners to protect over 4000 acres of fish and wildlife habitat.