Gulf of Maine Coastal Program
Northeast Region

Protect habitat

Scenic picture of the Maine downeast coast.
Downeast coast. Credit: USFWS

We work with willing landowners, land trusts, watershed associations, town officials and other federal and state agencies to acquire and permanently protect high value habitat before it is lost, degraded or fragmented by encroaching development pressures.

To-date, we have provided technical support to prioritize and help fund short-term and long-term partnerships that have led to the permanent protection of more than 1.68 million acres at 343 sites in Maine. Successful projects have included:

  • riparian protection corridors extending most of the length of several of Maine's federally-listed Atlantic salmon rivers (i.e. Dennys, Machias and Ducktrap Rivers),
  • dozens to thousands of acres of coastal wetlands and associated upland buffer (i.e. Cobscook Bay, Lower Kennebec Estuary, Pleasant Bay),
  • dozens of seabird, wading bird and bald eagle nesting islands,
  • landscape-scale blocks of intact northern forest timberland easements covering hundreds of thousands of acres,
  • other smaller acreage yet high value habitat protection initiatives, often linked to nearby conservation efforts, and
  • lands that support the purposes of Maine‚Äôs National Wildlife Refuges.

We use biological data from many partners, our experience with GIS mapping and our expertise in coastal Maine ecology to identify and assess important habitat and create habitat maps and databases. We share biological information with conservation partners, and if your proposed project has high value for waterbirds, searun fish and/or federally threatened or endangered species, we may be able to help inform and/or support your land acquisition effort by:

  • providing you with habitat maps and biological data, and explaining how to use the information to support your habitat protection project,
  • offering advice in assessing whether or not your land protection project is likely to compete successfully for USFWS federal funding sources, and/or
  • providing substantial strategic advice and assistance in developing successful USFWS proposals (including writing or reviewing grant text, reviewing the budget, creating maps, calculating wetland acreages, etc).

Our office does not own and manage land; instead we facilitate acquisition of high value habitat by other organizations with the commitment and capability to permanently and effectively steward natural resources and manage recreational uses.

Chris Meaney
USFWS Gulf of Maine Coastal Program
207-781-8364 x 12

Habitat protection fact sheets and links

Habitat protection funding

Last updated: July 3, 2019

Northeast Region Ecological Services

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