The Why, Where and How of Coastal Rivers Lands Protection

Why we protect land

Our role as a land trust focuses on protecting lands with significant public values, through acquisition, acceptance of gifts of lands, or by establishing conservation easements. Public values can fall under several different categories, as defined in our mission “to care for the lands and waters of the Damariscotta-Pemaquid Region by conserving special places, protecting water quality, creating trails and public access, and deepening connections to nature.” This includes the establishment of public access where appropriate and depending on the category of protection.

Guiding criteria

  • Natural Areas: large tracts of land, species at edge of range, high value habitat per state/federal program, endangered species, exemplary natural communities, wetlands, wildlife habitat buffers, wildlife ‘corridors’ through which animals travel from one area to another
  • Scenic Lands: prominent view from public vantage, extensive undeveloped shoreline, islands, headlands
  • Public Access: trails, shoreline access, productive commercial/recreational fishing/harvesting, open space in villages valued by community, traditionally used open space
  • Heritage Landscapes: saltwater farms, water supply, working harbors/waterfront, conservation lands identified in a municipality’s comprehensive plan, sites with shell middens, historic brickyards, etc.

Where we protect land

We protect important conservation lands throughout the Pemaquid Peninsula, from the Medomak River to the Damariscotta River, including Pemaquid River and the Johns River. This includes islands in these rivers, and the River~Link area of the Boothbay Peninsula.

How we protect land

  • Through donation
  • Through purchase, at bargain sale or for fair market value
  • Through donations of (and on rare occasions purchases of) conservation easements
  • Through donations of land and conservation easements made as provisions in wills
  • By providing stewardship services to municipalities or agencies
  • Through partnerships, assisting public agencies by rapidly securing land on their behalf and then transferring the property to that agency
  • Additionally, we sometimes accept donation of “tradelands,” properties that do not meet criteria for conservation but that the donor explicitly intends for us to resell to support other conservation efforts.

Please note: Coastal Rivers only signs complete 8283 forms after reviewing the appraised value represented by the donor’s appraiser (which is true for outright donations of conservation easements as well). Coastal Rivers reserves the right not to sign an 8283 and will not participate in fraudulent transactions. In all cases, donors should consult their own tax and legal advisors, as Coastal Rivers cannot and does not provide tax or legal advice.