birds flying in a "V" formation across the sunset

Have you been missing the warblers? The monarchs and alewives? Here in the Northeast, twice a year, we witness the movement of many animals that survive winter by temporarily relocating to places where food is available throughout the season and it’s not so much work to stay warm. Maine’s tree bats (hoary, silver-haired, and Eastern Red) migrate, as do many shore and songbirds and a number of fish – including American eels, shad, herring and salmon. Even some dragonflies, like the green darner, head for warmer climes. (…)

blue and orange spiraling galaxy

I recently took a walk one cold winter night, to commune with the night sky and gaze out into the Universe. I am much more aware of what’s up there at night than I am by day, which, on first examination doesn’t make as much sense as it ought to.

After all, if a body thinks about it, there is much more of the familiar world visible by the light of day; it’s what our eye is geared to: trees and water, mountains and clouds, the creatures of the Earth, the landscape. (…)

A volunteer takes a water sample at the Damariscotta town landing

The Maine Coastal Observing Alliance (MCOA), a network of nine conservation groups monitoring water quality in midcoast Maine estuaries, is pleased to announce it has received a grant for $142,000 from a fund at the Maine Community Foundation. The grant will be used to grow MCOA’s monitoring network and collect meaningful data for Maine’s coastal communities. (…)

Steven, Katie, and Joan

We are thrilled to welcome Land Conservation Manager Katie Beaver to the team! Along with Director of Land Conservation Joan Ray and Executive Director Steven Hufnagel, Katie will work directly with landowners to help them meet their conservation goals.

Katie’s position, fully funded by an anonymous funder for three years, is a reflection of our commitment to conserving an additional 5,000 acres in the Damariscotta-Pemaquid region in five years, from 2021 to 2026. We prioritize properties that connect to existing conserved areas, dovetail with community development plans, and are of particular benefit to wildlife, water quality, cultural heritage, or public access. (…)

solitary sandpiper wading in shallow water

For me, autumn culminates not with the falling of the leaves, but with shore birds standing on the shore, waiting for the tide to turn and expose the mudflat buffet where they will fuel up for the next leg in their migration. (…)

student trying out a small Wabanaki drum

Throughout the month of October, groups from local schools have been taking part in the full-day Wabanaki Living Skills and Culture program hosted by Coastal Rivers at Salt Bay Farm in Damariscotta.

The program teaches students about different aspects of Wabanaki culture – both traditional and current – through authentic, hands-on experiences. Activities are always taught in collaboration with Native American educators. For the past two years, Passamaquoddy educator Sandra Bassett has partnered with Coastal Rivers Education Director Sarah Gladu to teach the program. (…)

boat moored against a backdrop of sunlit fall foliage

Every now and then a friend will remark, “I don’t like November much.” And I wonder, can this be a friend of mine who maligns another with so closed a mind, who writes off an entire month simply to feed a foul humor? November is a friend too, and I am uncomfortable with having to defend one against the other. So, I don’t.

One thing can be said for November: It is an honest month, hardworking and as earnest in it’s ready-making for winter as any could be. “And the eleventh will be (…)

beech leaves lingering in spring

Watching colorful leaves swirl from the tree tops in a gust of autumn wind is one of the pleasures of being outdoors this time of year.

Like so many things in the natural world, tree behavior in our northern forests takes its cues from the sun. Once deciduous trees detect a reduction in the amount of daylight, they start to reduce the amount of chlorophyll they produce. When chlorophyll production stops, it is broken down and absorbed back into the tree. Until this point, other pigments present in the leaves have not been visible, overshadowed by the green of the chlorophyll. But now, as the chlorophyll disappears, the vibrant reds, yellows, browns and oranges we enjoy at this time of year are revealed. (…)

volunteers picking up trash on the shore

“Whoa – is that an entire engine block?”

What might pass for a strange pick-up line in another setting is par for the course during the annual Damariscotta River Clean-up. Earlier this month, staff and volunteers from over a dozen local businesses and organizations spent the afternoon picking up trash along the shoreline of the Damariscotta River. (…)

under the big tent at Coastal Rivers' Membership Celebration

Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust members voted in a slate of four new trustees at our annual membership celebration in July. Jennifer Atkinson, Malcolm Foster, Rod Melanson, and Emily Weiss were all elected, joining continuing trustees Josh Allan, Kelsey Gibbs, Matthew Hanly, Carol Lariviere, Kathy Leeman, Dennis McKenna, Gordon Morrell, Dru Sanford, Lee Schiller, and Ellen Wells.