Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Breaking Island News

USA: Mahoney Island Becomes Part of Maine’s Federal Wildlife Reserve

Mahoney Island is the latest island to join the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge – a joint initiative operated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Maine Coast Heritage Trust.

  • The US Fish and Wildlife Service has further consolidated its portfolio of state-owned coastal properties after purchasing Mahoney Island from a private owner
  • The 6-acre island, located in Brooklin, Maine, was acquired by the Maine Coast Heritage Trust using money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund
  • The bio-culturally diverse island forms the latest addition to the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge and will be managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service
Maine Coastal Islands - Photo Courtesy of Maine Coast Heritage Trust

Maine Coastal Islands – Photo Courtesy of Maine Coast Heritage Trust

A small island located in Brooklin, Maine, has become the latest addition to the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s increasing portfolio of state-owned properties, forming the latest member of the successful Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge program.

Mahoney Island: Another Private Island in Public Hands

Mahoney Island, a six-acre island located just off the coast of Naskeag Point, was acquired from a private owner using money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The fund, which uses revenues gained by sourcing offshore oil and gas, has been directly involved in conserving over five million acres of land right across America, including 60 islands and four coastal parcels

Having now returned into the public domain, the island will be transferred to the US Fish and Wildlife Service to be managed and maintained in a joint initiative between the federal agency and its local partner, the Maine Coast Heritage Trust.

Maine’s Coastal Islands: A Diverse Habitat for Migratory Birds

As with so many of Maine’s coastal islands, Mahoney Island offers a veritable wealth of bio-diversity, forming home to scores of migratory and nesting seabirds. As well as puffins, razorbills, black guillemots and bald eagles, the region also forms valuable nesting grounds for a number of terns and gulls.

The President of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Tim Glidden, underlined the importance of protecting the islands and their avian inhabitants by describing the islands as an “international treasure.”  Speaking to members of the local press, he went on to single out the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge for special praise, thanking them for their efforts to secure the funding needed to protect the island from the threat of development.

Saved from the Threat of Development

The manager of the refuge, Beth Goettel, was quick to deflect the praise back to Glidden, describing the trust as a “critical partner” in negotiating and handling the refuge’s purchases. Highlighting the Trust’s tireless commitment to protecting the state’s coastal diversity, she pointed out 11 examples of land acquired directly as a result of the Trust’s intervention.

As well as this latest acquisition, the Maine Coast Heritage Trust has also been responsible for securing the future of Compass Island, North Twinne Island, Sally Island, Sheep Island and Spectacle Island, as well as a host of other parcels dotted along the state’s magnificent coastline.

Here’s hoping that Mahoney Island won’t be the last!

To support the work of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, please head to their website: http://www.mcht.org/index.php

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