The health of our coastal rivers – including the Damariscotta River estuary, the Pemaquid River, and Johns River – and the lands that surround them are deeply connected. The well-being of our community is tied to both.
The woods, farms and waters of the Damariscotta-Pemaquid region are foundations of our economy and quality of life, the basis of our sustenance both directly and indirectly.
Recognizing these connections, Damariscotta River Association (DRA) became a conservation land trust in 1987 in order to hold land and conservation easements for public benefit.
Since then, (DRA) and Pemaquid Watershed Association (PWA), which unified to become Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust in 2019, have worked with willing private landowners and partners to conserve and steward thousands of acres of land important to wildlife, recreation, connectivity, and water quality, including many miles of shoreline and several islands.
Ways to Conserve Land
- Gifts of natural lands for permanent conservation
- Donation of conservation easement (aka conservation agreement)
- Gift of “trade land” – real estate intended for Coastal Rivers to sell to enhance conservation elsewhere
- Sale or “bargain sale” (below appraised value) of land
- …And more!
Open to All. All of the properties that Coastal Rivers owns and co-manages are open for respectful public use. They are well-used for hiking, educational programs, wildlife observation, skiing, picnics, and sledding, among many other activities. Notably, not all conservation easements include public access.
Connecting the Dots. Today we attempt through our land protection efforts to create a connected network of natural areas through which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Such connectivity generally improves wildlife habitat, water quality, and recreational opportunities.
Seeking the Standouts. We seek lands with exceptional natural, historic and public values and place special emphasis on conservation in particular focus areas.
Some of the many gems of our protected system – and it’s hard to pick just a few – include:
- The Glidden Midden, visible across the river from Whaleback Shell Midden State Historic Site, which is one of the largest oyster shell heaps on the Eastern Seaboard
- Several islands including 26-acre Stratton Island with its resident eagles
- Plummer Point in South Bristol
- Salt Bay Farm and Round Top Farm, both historical salt water farms in Damariscotta
- La Verna Preserve in Bristol, with its dramatic rock formations and spectacular views of Muscongus Bay
Partnering with Private Landowners. Today we continue to connect these properties by working with willing donors and sellers to conserve their lands through conservation easements, outright gifts or sale. Many other strategies are available as well, including remainder interests and life estates among others.
To speak with a member of our staff about conservation options for your land, including conservation easements, please contact us.