« May 2004 | Main | December 2005 »

April 06, 2005

Nationally Significant Seabird Nesting Island Conserved

Voluntary Conservation Agreement Protects Haddock Island

New Harbor: Haddock Island, an important seabird nesting island off the shore of New Harbor has been permanently protected from development. Katherine Coolidge, the owner of the island, has entered into a voluntary conservation agreement with Maine Coast Heritage Trust, a statewide land conservation organization which will help assure that the island remains in its wild state forever. "We are grateful to Katherine for her decision to protect this important natural resource. Her conservation ethic is a great example for island owners along Maine's fragile coastline," said Betsy Ham, Project Manager at Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Ms. Coolidge dedicated the protection of the island to the memory of her father, Edmund J. Coolidge.

Haddock Island offers diverse colonial seabird nesting habitat ideally suited for black guillemots, eider ducks, and Leach's storm petrels, among other species. Leach's storm-petrels, which nest on fewer than 30 Maine coastal islands, are oceanic birds that spend most of their lives well offshore from land. They come ashore to nest, where adults will lay a single egg in a shallow burrow in the ground.

"Conserving Haddock was always in the back of my mind," says Coolidge. "I am happy that Maine Coast Heritage Trust will help carry out my wishes to protect this special island in perpetuity," she added. Some of the seabird habitat is particularly fragile, and the island will be posted to protect the seabirds and their habitat. The island has been identified by the Petit Manan Wildlife Refuge as one of the nationally significant seabird nesting islands on the Maine coast.

Conservation of Haddock Island adds to other protected islands in the region including Harbor, Ross, Louds, Wreck and Marsh. Maine Coast Heritage Trust is continuing efforts to conserve important lands and islands in Muscongus Bay. The Bay is home to a rich variety of wildlife including bald eagles, osprey, harbor seals as well as numerous seabirds and other waterfowl.

Maine Coast Heritage Trust is a statewide conservation organization dedicated to protecting land that is essential to the character of Maine, its coastline and islands in particular. Since 1970, more than 119,000 acres and 245 entire coastal islands have been permanently protected. For more information, contact Rich Knox, Director of Communications and Public Policy 207-729-7366, or visit www.mcht.org.

Contact: Rich Knox, Director of Communications, Maine Coast Heritage Trust (207) 729-7366