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Stories and Updates from the Coast


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I hope you enjoy this collection of stories and updates about our work, the places we have the honor to conserve, and the partners and supporters who make it all possible.

This longer, more in-depth publication includes stories about our collaborative efforts to protect connected forests and wildlife habitat, recent projects to create permanent public coastal access for clammers and diggers, and how we’re collaborating with partners to advance conservation while addressing issues of concern to communities up and down the coast.

Read more from MCHT President and CEO Kate Stookey

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Protecting Regular Patches of Woods to Keep Common Species Common

MCHT conserves many scenic landscapes in Maine–but as the compounding pressures of climate change and human development intensify the vulnerability of all lands, our efforts to protect more mundane patches of open space have become even more urgent. 

These easily overlooked lands provide habitat for species that we may take for granted as abundant today, but won’t remain that way if we keep subdividing and paving over their habitat. MCHT is working to support these common species by strategically protecting and connecting large swathes of their habitat across the state so that individuals may easily travel between them. 

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In My Words
Angela Twitchell, Director of the Maine Land Trust Program

In September, Angela joined MCHT full-time as the Land Trust Program Director. With a lifelong passion for the environment and extensive experience in conservation, Angela brings unique and valuable insights about the needs of Maine land trusts, and how we can work together to achieve shared goals for Maine’s lands, waters, wildlife, and people.

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On Watch for the Bagaduce River

Bailey Bowden has waded in, fished, hunted, dug clams, or boated on the Bagaduce River that runs through his hometown of Penboscot for much of his life. Over that time, he has seen a lot of change: in fish and wildlife populations, in how streams flow, in water quality, in shoreland development. 

Now as the Bagaduce River Monitor, a position funded by Blue Hill Heritage Trust and MCHT, Bailey not only collects real data but serves as a voice on issues potentially impacting the river. The impacts of Bailey’s work are tangible and multi-faceted, helping to take better care of this place than our organizations could alone.

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Exploring Clifford Park

What do you think of when you imagine green space in the city? The first major city parks in America were basically gardens, with sculpted lawns, large paths, spots of shade, borders of flowers, and picturesque water features. But Clifford Park is nothing like that.

Clifford Park in Biddeford offers a striking departure from traditional city parks. This rugged and challenging forested area, nestled inconspicuously in the city, invites visitors to embark on a wilderness adventure. On a sweltering July day, one writer's journey through its rocky terrain left them delightfully exhausted. 

The park's wilderness allure lies in its meandering trails, occasionally confusing enough to lose your way, and its rough terrain, particularly challenging for cyclists. Despite its emptiness, the woods buzzed with life, from squirrels' footprints to the mesmerizing world of insects. They followed a trail adorned with panels narrating a turtle tale and discovered nature's treasures, from early blueberries to translucent ghost pipes.
A simple adventure in this pocket of the wild left them with lasting memories and a profound connection to nature.

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Communities across Maine cite lack of affordable housing as a primary concern. MCHT is working with partners, like Island Housing Trust, to help address the issue while preserving wildlife habitat, clean water, working waterfronts, and places for people to be in nature.

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“Giving to MCHT is something I can do to make a positive impact on my local ecology and the people of Maine,” says Victor, who was inspired to make a planned gift to MCHT on a boat tour of Cobscook Bay.

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“There’s a simultaneous sense of adventure and tranquility on entering Milbridge Commons–leaving behind the daily hubbub of Main Street to be instantly transported to the delights of nature in bloom, kids at play, families picnicking, al fresco art and music, and the kiss of an open breeze.”


 “Marshes are this vast expanse, very quiet, empty, and yet everything is so alive. I’ve seen fox, deer, eagles, all kinds of migrations—so many different birds. I’ve seen seals pull up to the grass and sun- bathe in the warmth.

As soon as you get out to the marsh, you just exhale. It’s phenomenal. It’s really my favorite place.”
- Mary Byrom, artist

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Mary Byrom, Rising Tide, gouache, 2022, 4 ¼” x 10 ¼”

Regional Updates

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Southern Maine Update

We collaborated with the Intercultural Community Center and Portland Paddle to bring refugee, immigrant, and asylee youth to Lanes Island Preserve.

Other area projects include:

  • Managing invasives at Woodward Point Preserve in Brunswick 
  • Readying Cousins River Preserve for the public–a new preserve in Yarmouth!
  • Protecting a coastal access site for local clammers and diggers in Phippsburg


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Midcoast Maine Update

Numerous volunteers joined us for work days on Monroe, Sheep, High, and Louds Islands.

Other area projects include:

  • Partnering with Midcoast Conservancy to conserve 12 acres along the Sheepscot River
  • Kirk Gentalen explores the Midcoast and blogs about the wildlife he sees at
  • The Aldermere Farm and Erickson Fields campaign continues, with every donation matched dollar-for-dollar
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MDI-Area Update

Forty MCHT staff members and volunteers removed 2,300 pounds of plastic buoys, rope, and trash from Marshall Island Preserve.

Other area projects include:

  • A collaborative art project at Kelley Farm Preserve that will depict the anticipated impacts of sea level rise on the landscape
  • Marsh restoration projects currently underway at Mitchell Marsh in Tremont and Babson Creek in Mount Desert
  • Farther east in Sullivan: a collaborative effort that secured permanent water access for harvesters and paddlers
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Washington County Update

MCHT and the town of Cutler completed a collaborative project to protect 4.4 shorefront acres that will eventually be developed into a town park.

Other area projects include:

  • Readying Machias’s first public preserve for visitors
  • Welcoming over 100 people to an open house at MCHT’s Whiting Office
  • An archaeological dig at Sipp Bay Preserve in collaboration with the Passamaquoddy Tribal Historic Preservation Office
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You can now purchase Maine Coast Heritage Trust shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and more!

Learn More & Get Involved!

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Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) is a nonprofit land conservation organization. Our work spans the Maine coast and extends up coastal rivers and into inland forests, benefiting communities throughout the state and the vitality of the region at large.

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Download a printable version of Maine Heritage (PDF, 4 MB)

Thanks to our Donors

Everything you read about in this newsletter is possible thanks to the generous support of Maine Coast Heritage Trust donors.

Donors are creating more public access to the coast, strengthening coastal communities, making Maine more resilient to climate change, and so much more. Thank you to all who are a part of MCHT.