Falmouth, Brunswick natural resource projects receive funds

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AUGUSTA — Projects in Falmouth, Brunswick and Topsham are among 17 benefitting from a total $2.4 million in natural resource awards.

The awards – for restoration, enhancement or preservation of wetlands and other habitats throughout Maine – were announced Monday by the Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program. That program is administered by The Nature Conservancy in collaboration with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Falmouth was awarded nearly $183,000 for the purchase of an 87-acre Mast Road property that is part of the headwaters of Suckfish Brook, according to Alex Mas of The Nature Conservancy. The town will own and manage the parcel, and it plans to use some of the award to restore a road on the property that is heavily eroded and has caused problems for the wetlands, Mas said.

A Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife project on Maquoit Stream in Brunswick, which received $425,000, will restore a wetland habitat for migratory fish and salt marsh sparrow – a Maine Species of Special Concern – and other birds. A small earthen dam will be removed and a natural stream channel and more than 10 acres of wetlands will be re-established.

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust was awarded $70,000 toward the purchase of 150 acres on Bradley Pond Road in Topsham.

“It’s a significantly wooded parcel with a lot of great wetland habitat, and it’s been idenitifed as priority by the state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and the land trust is planning to manage it as a preserve,” Mas said.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.