Projects > Preserving the Working Waterfront
Worked with state, regional and local agencies to purchase
a conservation easement on Sewall’s Bridge Dock,
ensuring that it will forever remain as working waterfront property
and protecting its scenic value.
York Land Trust; Coastal Enterprises Inc.; Maine Coastal Planning
Office; Libra Foundation; Island Foundation; Maine Community Foundation;
Farm Credit; Old York Historical Society; local community
Agamenticus to the Sea Conservation Initiative (MTA2C) strives
to protect a wide array of ecological resources and community values
in the fastest growing county in Maine. The MTA2C Initiative is
a coalition of non-profit organizations and governmental agencies
that work together on a landscape scale conservation project in
an area of approximately 48,000 acres that encompasses the York
River, the Braveboat Harbor Estuary, Gerrish Island and the largest
intact coastal forest between Acadia and the New Jersey Pine Barrens.
region is endowed with large unfragmented forests, rare and exemplary
natural communities, and the greatest diversity of threatened and
endangered species of any region in Maine. Oak forests, vernal pools,
salt marshes, tidal rivers and dune grasslands are among the rich
ecological features found here. These natural communities provide
habitat for a wide variety of plant and animal species such as migratory
birds, anadromous fish and rare turtles. The Gulf of Maine coastal
waters from Gerrish Island in Kittery to Cape Neddick in York have
been designated as Essential Fish Habitat by the National Marine
Fisheries Service for 30 species of fish and mollusks.
Mt. Agamenticus to the Sea landscape is also rich in human history.
The land, rivers and sea have provided local inhabitants with lumber,
farmland and fish for over 300 years. Careful stewardship has sustained
many generations without destroying the ecological systems on which
their livelihoods have been built.
Space: Sewall's Bridge
Public Radio Exchange
Maine's working waterfronts are threatened. As property taxes
soar and fishing opportunities dwindle, communities in Maine are
seeking ways to preserve a way of life. The York Land Trust found
a unique way to preserve open space and an historic landmark while
expanding their harbor's working waterfront.
to get a grip
July 18, 2004, Maine Today
Mark Sewall remembers roaming his hometown of York as a boy. He
could wander the commercial docks in York Harbor at will. The
woods and fields around town were his playgrounds. Everyone waved.
The York of his boyhood is long gone, said the 42-year-old lobsterman.
Today, Sewall says, the public has been locked out of much of
the town. Many of the commercial docks have been torn down and
replaced by homes and private docks. The woods and fields have
been carved up into house lots. People have stopped waving.
every fishing boat is a strong working waterfront
February 29, 2004, Village Soup
Rep. Deb McNeil remembers the working piers, the sounds and smells
of the Rockland fishing fleet unloading swelled holds of herring
and redfish. Though
offensive to some, those smells and sounds of commercial fishing
meant business was good for local harvesters. As
a member of the Legislature's Marine Resources Committee, McNeil
has been an advocate and sounding board for issues affecting the
local fishing industry.
Watefronts: The Land Trust Solution
February 2004, The Working Waterfront
Jeff Donnell and Mark Sewall, two lobstermen whose families
have been fishing from York Harbor for generations, recently purchased
a dock near historic Sewall's Bridge on the York River. Much can
be learned from this experience that could benefit other communities
struggling with preserving access to the sea.
effort saves pier from development
December 5, 2003, Portsmouth Herald
Thanks to the efforts of local residents, conservation groups,
creative financing and the York Land Trust, the town will forever
have at least one working commercial fishing pier.
against the tide
December 4, 2003, Maine Today
Two York lobstermen have teamed up with the local land trust
to purchase Sewall's Bridge dock on the south side of the York
River and preserve it as working waterfront. The
dock, used by commercial fishermen for years, previously had been
bought by a private homeowner who rented space to pleasure boaters
and had plans to develop a home on the site.