New property fills in missing piece in Pemaquid Peninsula wildlife corridor 

New property fills in missing piece in Pemaquid Peninsula wildlife corridor 

Above: the Doering property glimpsed from Bristol Road, across from Creekside Dental

Nearly 1,000 acres now conserved at Half Moon Pond

We are thrilled to announce the conservation of a 93-acre property at the heart of the Half Moon Pond Conservation Area in Bristol. Purchased from Marian Doering, the property includes 25 acres of rich wetland habitat and protects vernal pools, a beaver dam, and marsh frequented by inland wading birds and waterfowl. Its intact woodlands provide deer wintering grounds and habitat for moose, fisher, bobcat and other larger mammals.

Map of the Half Moon Pond Conservation Area The new property also builds on the Half Moon Pond Conservation Area, a habitat block now stretching nearly 1,000 acres from the marsh behind Hanley’s Market all the way to Benner Road. Sandwiched between two larger plots we purchased from Norman Hunt in the spring of 2022, the Doering property represented a large gap in an otherwise unbroken corridor of conserved land. Large, connected corridors like this one and the River~Link corridor on the Boothbay peninsula are important because they can support greater biodiversity than smaller, more fragmented areas.

In addition to its clear benefits to wildlife, the success of this project is a win for the continued health and vitality of our local waterways. The wetlands spanning the property are part of an even larger system that helps to absorb and filter water before it eventually reaches both the Damariscotta and Pemaquid Rivers. And with this purchase, a beautiful kettle pond is now entirely in the care of Coastal Rivers.

Aerial view of the Doering property and surrounding area with the Damariscotta River beyond

Game trails crisscross the freshwater wetland that forms the western edge of the Half Moon Pond Conservation Area and includes part of the new Doering property. Bristol Road and the Damariscotta River estuary can be seen beyond the wetland. Photo by Bo Calais.

As with many of our land conservation projects, partnerships were key to the success of this one. The purchase of the Doering property was made possible by Coastal Rivers’ share of a grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) Large Grants Program, which we applied for in collaboration with Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) and many other regional partners.

With its 25 acres of wetland and 850 feet of pond frontage, the Doering property was a natural fit for NAWCA funding, which supports wetland protection, restoration, and enhancement for the benefit of waterfowl and other migratory birds.

The Half Moon Pond Conservation Area, including this newest addition, is open to the public for recreation, including hunting, fishing, trapping, nature observation, and snowmobiling on designated trails. While we have not yet established our own trails at Half Moon Pond, the intrepid hiker is invited to explore existing snowmobile trails.