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‘A Watershed Moment for Frenchman Bay: From the Forest to the Sea’ Campaign Reaches $10 Million Goal

March 19, 2024

Frenchman Bay Conservancy surpassed our Watershed Moment for Frenchman Bay campaign fundraising goal a year in advance, currently having raised $10.4 million.

The goal of the campaign is to raise the funds necessary to (1) protect 10,000 new acres of valuable land, (2) enhance stewardship of our preserves to maximize benefits to nature and people, and (3) expand outdoor education in our local public schools and outdoor opportunities for all. 

HANCOCK COUNTY, ME– In September 2023, Frenchman Bay Conservancy (FBC) announced a $10 million comprehensive capital campaign to seize urgent opportunities to protect land and water in the Union River and Frenchman Bay watersheds east to the Hancock County line. At that time, FBC had already raised over $8 million dollars. Today, FBC has raised $10.4 million in support of their campaign goal. 

The campaign, “A Watershed Moment for Frenchman Bay: From the Forest the Sea,” allows FBC to compete in an increasingly fast-paced real estate market, and boosts their ability to secure protection of natural lands that maintain the ecological, social, and economic health of the region. 

“FBC is in awe of the generosity of our community and support for conservation in Downeast Maine,” shares Aaron Dority, FBC Executive Director. “By achieving the $10 million fundraising milestone now, FBC is positioned to dream even larger in our plans for what our community can accomplish together.”

 Through the campaign, FBC has already:

  • Protected an additional 3,200 acres since the campaign began in 2022;
  • Purchased the former Bar Harbor Golf Course/future Jordan River Preserve, protecting critical habitat and over 1 mile of undeveloped shoreline with access for harvesters;
  • Conserved the Whitney Community Forest in downtown Ellsworth;
  • Ensured all public elementary schools in our region have access to standards-aligned outdoor education;
  • Built FBC’s capacity to respond to urgent land deals;
  • And more.

But our work is not done yet. FBC will continue the campaign, as planned, until September 2024.

“There are still urgent conservation issues that need our attention, with the recent storms serving as poignant reminders of the threats facing our environment and communities,” says Aaron Dority, FBC Executive Director. “We remain committed to the original goals of the campaign, and now we have the opportunity to not only conserve ecologically significant landscapes, but to tackle complicated restoration projects on our properties that can protect our communities from flooding and storms, to build new accessible trails, and to continue expanding the impact of our outdoor education programs.”

Upcoming initiatives include land protection projects in each of FBC’s priority regions (Union River watershed, Frenchman Bay watershed, and Schoodic Wildlife Corridor) as well as funding the salt marsh restoration project at the future Jordan River preserve, which will cost almost $1.5 million.