Press release

Midcoast Conservancy reflects on past and future

Posted:  Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 7:00am
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Midcoast Conservancy’s Conservation Committee recently met for the first time following the merger between Midcoast and Medomak Valley Land Trust. The event yielded a summary of progress to date and plans for the future, and offered a picture of a growing, thriving organization.

Anna Fiedler, Midcoast’s director of conservation, provided a great overview. Fiedler pointed to the newly-expanded map and said “Our combined service area includes 24 towns and the 450 square miles (288,000 acres) of the Damariscotta Lake watershed, Medomak River watershed, and Sheepscot River watershed.” She listed some key facts:

  • Number of staff: 12 permanent, 11 interns/seasonal
  • 1,600 members
  • 12,259 acres protected or about 4.25 percent of the area Midcoast Conservancy covers
  • 92 conservation easements
  • 55 preserves on 5,800 acres
  • Over 85 miles of public access trails
  • 13.4 miles of Medomak River shoreline and tributaries protected
  • 9 miles of shoreline protected along the Sheepscot River
  • 3 active projects reconnecting the Sheepscot River opening up total of 71 miles of river and 2,100 acres of pond for migratory fish

Andy Bezon, director of Hidden Valley Nature Center and Community Programs, added his highlights, “Hidden Valley Nature Center is our gem with 25 miles of trails, six overnight cabins on 1,000 acres. Community use is still growing with over 40 programs and 7,000 visitor days annually. We have also created Outdoor Adventure programming where we take our nature center model “on the road” to bring fat bikes, XC skis and other equipment to rural Midcoast communities.”

Addie Halligan, Midcoast’s new Water Resources manager, added “We have been a leader in protecting the water quality of Damariscotta Lake. In 2009 we removed many truckloads of the fast-growing invasive plant Hydrilla. In 2018, our extensive monitoring of the lake found none for the second year in a row. Of course, we will continue our monitoring efforts, and courtesy boat inspections are ongoing as well. In 2018, we kept over eight tons of polluting sediment from flowing into the lake from anti-erosion projects.”

Fielder closed the session saying “The upcoming pipeline of high priority land to be protected has never been bigger, due to a number of factors. The merger has substantially increased our ability to work on conservation projects. Also, many landowners have reached out to us and commented on our increased visibility and capability. All of this points to a bright future for land and water protection in the Midcoast.”

For more information or to get involved contact Midcoast Conservancy at (207) 389-5150, info@midcoastconservancy.org or by going to www.midcoastconservancy.org.