The Cousins River Fields and Marsh Project

Thanks to generous donors, fundraising is complete! We will be able to purchase and protect this 82-acre property in 2023.

Thank you to everyone who gave! Sign up below for email updates on the project and to learn when it’s open to the public.

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.

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We teamed up with local land trusts

Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Royal River Conservation Trust (RRCT), and Freeport Conservation Trust (FCT) worked 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 marsh system. Learn more about the marsh system and Cousins River estuary and tributary.

Protecting salt marsh makes the coast more resilient to climate change

By ensuring this shoreline remains undeveloped, it will accommodate the movement of the marsh as sea level rises. Now, this important habitat will stay intact in the decades to come!

Countless fish, birds, and other animals spend some portion of their lives in salt marsh. When we protect places like Cousins River Fields and Marsh, 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.

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

With partners, Maine Coast Heritage Trust raised the $2.19 million for this project by the December 31, 2021 deadline. Donations will go towards acquiring the 82 acres, pooled stewardship funds, and operational support.

This project received a National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Town of Yarmouth also made a generous gift.

Support projects like this up and down the coast

MCHT is working to protect and open to the public more places up and down the coast. If you’re inspired by the mission to keep the coast open, healthy, working, and beautiful join us and make a gift today.


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

For more information, please contact

Nicky Blanchard
Director of Engagement
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

December 2021: We met our fundraising goal thanks to generous donors!

November 14, 2021: Hundreds attend “Meet the Marsh” event to raise awareness and funding for the project. The event was covered by Channel 6 News and Channel 8 News.

September 21, 2021: All gifts and pledges to the Cousins River Fields & Marsh project will be matched dollar-for-dollar! Thanks to more than 75 individuals, businesses, and foundations we have less than $400,000 to raise from donors to reach the $2.19 fundraising goal.

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.