DEP Notifies Recipients of Grants for Wetland Restoration

July 19, 2016

Contact: David Madore, Communications Director, david.madore@maine.gov or (207) 287-5842

(AUGUSTA) —Wetlands are valuable not only for their beauty and the recreation opportunities they support, but also for critically important functions they perform in our environment. In 2014, voters passed the “Maine Clean Water and Wetlands” bond. As a result, funds were earmarked for wetland restoration, enhancement and creation projects to include provisions for climate change, flood protection and resiliency and to improve wildlife habitat.

Maine DEP recently awarded over $195,000 dollars in grant money for the following projects in Fort Fairfield, Falmouth and Owls Head:

Tri Community Recycling and Sanitary Landfill (TCL) $94,700 Grant

TCL proposes to restore and enhance a former freshwater wetland complex adjacent to a borrow pit on TCL property in Ft. Fairfield to enhance northern Maine’s unique habitat for birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. The proposal further consists of the creation of an open water habitat to attract migratory birds and the establishment of a transitional, floodplain wetland buffer area to capture contaminants and sediment from storm water runoff before entering the wetland system. The plan includes allowing local schools and other organizations such as the local bird club, to use the finished project as an observation and educational tool.

Town of Falmouth $95,000 Grant

The Town of Falmouth proposes to restore 15.5 acres of emergent wetland by removing a 320- foot long gravel road that bisects a freshwater wetland. The proposal also includes preservation of 20 acres of forested upland buffer, invasive species removal, and planting of native trees along Suckfish Brook to enhance the riparian stream corridor. The proposal will preserve approximately 700 ft. of Highland lake shoreline and 2,200 feet of shoreline along Suckfish Brook. These activities will remove sediments and pollutants from the freshwater wetland and improve the water quality of Highland Lake as well as enhance the quality of Suckfish brook, a recognized trout fishery, by preserving and enhancing temperature moderating cover along the brook. This project will ensure that the brook provides high quality habitat, both as a contributor to Highland Lake and as a standalone resource unto itself.

Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) $6,220 Grant

MCHT’s proposal is to eliminate invasive, non-native plant species which have encroached upon an important emergent freshwater wetland in Owls Head. Common reed and Himalayan balsam have colonized an area of this wetland and will be removed, restoring the wetland to its original and natural state. Although small in size, this site is within an important migratory crossover area for birds and butterflies which move along the coast line to take advantage of the area’s availability of nectar plants and diversity of wetland habitats.

The application for the third round of Wetland Restoration Grants will be announced soon. Please visit Maine DEP’s website for more information.