Heads of the Estuaries Partnership

In early 2008, Pleasant River Wildlife Foundation helped bring together a consortium of governmental agencies, regional conservation organizations and local land trusts in a landscape scale collaboration to protect the heart of the Downeast Coast of Maine. The Heads of the Estuaries Partnership Region extends northeastwards from the Schoodic Peninsula to Machias Bay along a largely undisturbed coastline characterized by deep coastal embayments with gently sloping uplands. Together, the Partnership members are undertaking a series of projects over five years to preserve more than:

Active HEP partners include:

The HEP partners are focusing their efforts in six Priority Areas selected for their pristine and extensive mapsalt marshes and intertidal mudflats.  The uplands in these Priority Areas are covered by mixed growth forest and typically drain into the estuaries through networks of small streams, beaver flowages and other fresh water wetlands. These Priority Areas are:

The varied and interconnected upland and wetland habitats of the Priority Areas support abundant shorebirds, waterfowl and wading birds as well as woodcock, grouse, songbirds and raptors -- over 250 bird species in all.  A host of mammals, amphibians, fish and other wildlife also depend on these wetlands or their adjacent uplands.  Public access on these lands remains critical for local residents who make their living from the sea and for residents and visitors who enjoy coastal recreation.

Human footsteps have been light on this landscape and today’s visitors can still experience remote coastal lands with abundant wildlife, where small rural communities have stayed in balance with their natural surroundings.  However, the next wave of housing development already threatens.  The Heads of the Estuaries Partnership is committed to meeting this challenge and preserving forever some of America’s most biologically rich, gorgeous and intact coastal habitat.   

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PO Box 154 • Addison • Maine • 04606 birdinfo@pleasant-river.org