Residents

clam diggerWhile our top priority at Pleasant River Wildlife Foundation is to protect wildlife habitat we are also committed to protecting land for people.   Making a living Downeast can be tough and paying bills is a daily concern for many.  Much of the local economy is based on harvesting marine resources, a way of life where the work is always arduous, often done in horrific weather and occasionally very dangerous.

We can’t do much to make life easier for a lobster fisherman, scallop dragger or clam digger but we can help address some basic necessities.  Conserving wild lands offers many recreational and economic benefits and helps preserve a traditional way of life for residents as well as attracting visitors and building eco-tourism.

For example, access to the region’s shores and waters is essential to many people in our local communities. but traditional water access is inevitably lost when undeveloped shorelines are converted to house lots.  When we protect coastal habitats from being subdivided and built up we also ensure that local people can continue to get to the water.

lobster landing lobster floats
posted sign
hunter

Preventing residences from being built near the marshes, intertidal flats and the waters of our estuaries and bays also goes a long way towards ensuring that productive clam flats won’t be closed because of coliform bacterial pollution and that toxic residues from garden chemicals won’t build up in the marine food chains on which the community depends.

Perhaps it is less obvious that unfettered opportunities to hunt, fish, snowshoe, canoe or just roam the woods are also extremely important to the local way of life.  The freedom to enjoy wild undeveloped lands is a cherished New England tradition that enriches the lives of many, but may well be lost in our rural areas if it is not protected. When we halt heedless development we also halt the proliferation of “Posted” and “No Trespassing” signs that disconnect residents from traditional access to their lands and waters.

We can’t afford to wait to take action.  Once degraded, habitats can rarely be rehabilitated.  Once built up, coastal lands are irretrievably lost as shared resources for the community.  Time after time history has taught us that the lands we protect today will be treasured by generations of people who share and enjoy them.

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