Cousins-River-Marsh-frontage

The Cousins River Fields and Marsh Project

The effort to protect an important salt marsh and create a new public preserve in Yarmouth is underway.


As of August 1, we have less than $400,000 to raise from donors to reach the $2.19 million fundraising goal. This goal must be met by December 31, 2021. Read more below about this unique partnership to protect a significant property in southern Maine.

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Salt marsh teeming with life, forestland graced by stately old oaks and pines, and fields with rich agricultural soils make up the diverse landscape of this beautiful and highly visible property on the Cousins River in Yarmouth.


Want to see this potential preserve for yourself?

Click on the link below to download a map and more information to explore this land on your own. Here’s where to enter the property.

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Want more project details?

We’re teaming up with local land trusts

Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Royal River Conservation Trust (RRCT), and Freeport Conservation Trust (FCT) are working together to add this keystone parcel to the extensive network of conserved lands already secured by local land trusts, and to protect the river’s 220-acre marsh system. 

Protecting salt marsh makes the coast more resilient to climate change

Our goal is to ensure that the shoreline remains undeveloped so that it can accommodate the movement of the marsh as sea level rises and this important habitat can stay intact in the decades to come.

Countless fish, birds, and other animals spend some portion of their lives in salt marsh. By ensuring a future for salt marshes, we give these important species a better shot at survival. Salt marshes also clean the water and air and protect the built infrastructure of our towns and communities.

In the video below, learn more about how protecting places like Cousins River helps make the coast more resilient to climate change.

Recreational and community programming opportunities 

Thanks to its large size, good soils, and variety of habitats, Cousins River Fields and Marsh offers lots of opportunities for recreation and community programs.

Possibilities include outdoor education, small-scale agriculture, hunting, ADA-accessible paths, and trails for walking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

Additional fundraising and project details 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust has until December 31, 2021 to raise the $2.19 million for this project, which includes the cost to acquire the 82 acres, pooled stewardship funds, and operational support.

If we are successful meeting our fundraising goal, we will conserve the entire property. If we fall short, we will work to fund the conservation of the most important portions of the property by splitting off and selling one or more upland lots for residential development. 

Interested in protecting an important salt marsh and creating a new public preserve in Yarmouth? Step up and make a gift today!

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Sign up to get information about this project and others up and down the coast!


For more information, please contact

Nicky Blanchard
Director of Development
Maine Coast Heritage Trust
1 Bowdoin Mill Island, Suite 201
Topsham, ME 04086

Office: 207.607.4369
Mobile: 207.649.9141

Project details

Town/County: Yarmouth, Cumberland County
Project size: 82 acres
Project cost: $2.19 million



Progress updates

June 25, 2021: Our $466,365 grant application to the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program was submitted. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife sponsored the proposal and we thank them for their help and support!

December 31, 2020: The Portland Press Herald published a story about the Cousins River Fields and Marsh Project and the importance of protecting salt marsh in a highly developed part of the state. At this time, $1 million towards the $2.19 million goal has been raised. If that goal is not met, this land and marsh could be developed.

June 15, 2020: MaineBiz published a story about MCHT’s Marshes for Tomorrow Initiative and the importance of conserving land upland of today’s marshes, so that as sea levels rise these marshes can migrate and reestablish themselves. The story features our work at Cousins River.