Hancock – Frenchman Bay Conservancy (FBC) has received a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant to permanently protect 167 acres along Taunton Bay. These acres are within the Taunton Bay Beginning with Habitat Focus Area, one of the most significant tidal wading bird and waterfowl habitats in the region.
The project is located less than one mile from the 15,000 acre Donnell Pond Public Reserved Land, and within two miles of FBC’s 1,100 acre Schoodic Bog and Long Ledges Preserves. The lands to be conserved include more than half of the tidal estuary on the downstream end of the Card Mill Stream and Long Pond Brook watersheds that encompass both Donnell Pond and Schoodic Bog.
The 167 acres of critical habitat for wading birds, waterfowl, and other wildlife includes more than 1.5 miles of shorefront, 73 acres of saltmarsh and tidal flats, and 94 acres of upland buffer. Local landowners are donating permanent conservation easements to FBC, which will serve as match for the NAWCA grant, leveraging the funding to purchase additional land and conserve the full 167 acres.
“We’re excited to be able to protect critical wildlife habitat around Hog Bay in Franklin, and we’re thankful to property owners in the region who have agreed to voluntarily conserve their land,” said Aaron Dority, the Conservancy’s Executive Director.
Frenchman Bay Conservancy is a nonprofit land trust with its office at the Tidal Falls Preserve in Hancock. Over the last thirty years, FBC has conserved nearly 7,000 acres and maintains 25 miles of year-round public access hiking trails. Frenchman Bay Conservancy’s mission is to conserve distinctive ecosystems and landscapes for the benefit of all, from the Union River and Frenchman Bay watersheds east to the Hancock County line. Visit www.frenchmanbay.org, FBC’s Facebook page, or call 422.2328, for more information.
The NAWCA program provides matching grants to wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In the past two decades, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act has funded 2,644 projects totally $1.4 billion in grants. More than 5,600 partners have contributed another $3 billion in matching funds to affect 33.4 million acres of habitat.