Indian River Project Area

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The Indian River is a relatively small stream which has its source north of Route 1 in Columbia Falls.  From there it flows southward, under Route 1 where it becomes the boundary between Addison and Jonesport.  It flows mostly through undeveloped land though never far from commercial blueberry fields, tree harvesting activities and operating gravel pits. Blueberry farming poses an ever-increasing threat to the river’s water quality from runoff of pesticides and other agricultural toxins and from draw downs of the water level for irrigation.  The risk of siltation and damage to fish spawning beds is always present if large equipment works too close to the riverbank. 

The river forms the eastern boundary of PRWF’s Upper Indian River conservation property and continues south under the Route 187 bridge where it broadens to form a wide tidal estuary.  Along the east side of 700-acre Crowley Island there is superb shorebird and waterfowl habitat including intertidal mudflats, small salt marsh areas and extensive rockweed beds.  The island is also bordered by productive clam-flats and eel grass beds.  South of Crowley Island the Indian River estuary opens into the Atlantic Ocean in the Gulf of Maine. 

In January of 2003 PRWF began efforts to conserve important habitat along the Indian River by purchasing two properties on Crowley Island with 300 acres of uplands and more than 150 acres of the island’s most important intertidal wetlands. 

In early 2013 PRWF purchased a 130-acre property upstream of Route 187 to protect wetlands and adjacent buffer in the upper reaches of Indian River. Here tidal influence decreases and waters are more brackish.  On this property the wet soils offer excellent habitat for woodcock, a species which is in severe decline throughout the Northeast.

Though a little over a mile apart there is a very strong connection between the Upper Indian River property and Crowley Island – the Indian River itself.  Anything that happens upstream will have an effect on the estuary and Crowley Island’s wetlands below. 

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