Pleasant Bay Project Area

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The east shore of Pleasant Bay from Long Cove south to Ports Harbor is remarkable for its wealth and variety of wildlife habitats and for its substantially undisturbed and wild character.

PRWF’s vision is to unify the entirety of this Project Area along with the adjacent Lily Pond Meadows Project Area into a single wildlife preserve that will protect over 7 miles of frontage on Pleasant Bay, over 1,900 acres of intertidal marshes and mudflats, freshwater wetlands, islands, bold bay frontage and mature and early successional forest. This preserve will also include the full 1.3 mile run of the Dick Brook, 0.8 miles of Lily Pond Meadows Stream and two lovely 3.5-acre ponds.

Northern Intertidal Zone — The north part of the Pleasant Bay Project Area includes Long Cove and Seal Cove, together one of the largest and most important intertidal habitats in eastern Maine.  These wetlands are particularly important to migrating shorebirds and to black ducks, a priority species of the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s North American Waterfowl Management Plan.

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Long Cove and Seal Cove together have about 4.7 miles of shorefront and over 300 acres of intertidal mudflats, eelgrass and rockweed beds and fringing salt marsh. Long Creek, the Three Brooks group of streams and Seal Cove Stream flow into Long Cove and Seal Cove and drain extensive undeveloped uplands including some of the most dramatic granite headlands along the shores of Pleasant Bay. Seavey Point, Gibbs Island, and Hemlock Island guard Long Cove and Seal Cove from southwesterly gales and Seavey Point protects Seal Cove from fierce winter nor’westers.

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Because there has been no residential development to disturb the coves' exceptional habitat, wildlife thrives.  Biologists have documented 19 species of coastal shorebirds and 17 species of waterfowl, including large numbers of migrating green-winged teal and black ducks, a species of great management concern along the entire Atlantic Flyway. The wetlands have been designated by the State of Maine as:
  • One of the top Shorebird Areas in the State’s Pleasant Bay Priority Area
  • High Value Feeding and Roosting Shorebird Habitat
  • High Value Tidal Waterfowl and Wading Bird Habitat
The tidal flats of Long Cove and Seal Cove and the adjacent waters of Pleasant Bay support commercially harvestable populations of clams, marine worms, mussels, sea urchins, scallops and lobsters.

Bold Coastline — To the south of Seal Cove, the character of the coastline changes dramatically as bold promontories and high cliffs plunge directly to the open waters of Pleasant Bay. Part of this frontage is already protected by virtue of an easement held by Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Pleasant River Wildlife Foundation has just acquired another large block of land, over 200 acres with bold frontage. 

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Encouraging discussions are underway with the property owners to protect the remaining frontage south to Ports Harbor.

Bobcats, coyotes, fishers, black bears, moose, and deer inhabit the uplands around the cove that front Pleasant Bay. Birds include three breeding pairs of bald eagles, rare peregrine falcons, nesting and foraging ospreys as well as ruffed grouse, spruce grouse, woodcock and a host of songbirds, many of them tropical migrants.

Forested Uplands and Freshwater Wetlands — The forests bordering Pleasant Bay contain numerous vernal pools and forest wetlands. The most prominent wetland features are Oscar’s Pond, a spring fed 3.5-acre pond and wetland system that forms the headwaters of the Dick Brook, a 1.3-mile long brook that supplies the Dick Pond and ultimately drains into Dick Cove. For generations the Dick Brook has been one of Addison’s most popular spring smelting spots.

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“De-fragmenting” a Landscape — Putting together such a large sweep of continuously connected conservation land is a long process of “de-fragmenting” a landscape cut up over the years by sub-division and heirship.  Conservation-minded landowners started acquiring the core properties for this preserve over 30 years ago; the last 10 years have seen intensive conservation efforts by PRWF and our Heads of the Estuaries Partners and another 3-5 years will probably be required to finish the task of unifying the entire Project Area.

An integrated, multi-habitat wildlife preserve of this magnitude will help support many species of wildlife, far more, in fact, than the same acreage could support in disconnected parcels.  The preserve will also provide extraordinary public recreational opportunities – kayaking, canoeing, birdwatching, hiking, hunting, snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing.

Our vision is gradually to develop a network of public foot trails from convenient roadside access points which will offer visitors the opportunity to experience multiple habitat zones and to discover extraordinary scenic vistas over the bay’s waters and islands.  Water access points will benefit local shellfish harvesters and canoeists and kayakers wishing to explore the preserve’s three islands and seven miles of shore front.

Good conservation requires great patience and offers great rewards!

PO Box 154 • Addison • Maine • 04606 • [email protected]