Harpswell "Forest Playground"

Harpswell’s “Forest Playground,” a 2019 Community Grant Project, Harpswell Heritage Land Trust

Just announced! CBEP Habitat Protection Fund Spring 2020 Request for Proposals

Prospective applicants must provide parcel lot/map information to USFWS & CBEP by March 6, 2020. Completed proposals must be emailed to CBEP by 5:00 p.m. on April 3, 2020.

Download RFP here.


2020 Casco Bay Community Grant Awards Announced

CBEP received ten proposals totaling nearly $30,000 from schools, nonprofit organizations and community groups. CBEP awarded nearly 11,000 to four recipients, for projects in Freeport, Chebeague & Cumberland, Falmouth, and Portland/Fort Gorges.

CBEP awarded the following 2020 Casco Bay Community Grants:

  • Town of Freeport, “Hands-on Science Education: Building a Data Set on Clam Recruitment and Survival.” Freeport Middle School’s 7th grade class will conduct authentic field-based research into clam recruitment, survival, and growth in Freeport. The 100 students will collect valid data, analyze the results, and share their findings to the Freeport Shellfish Committee and at other venues. The field research will be carried out in an intertidal area at the town park, which the town designated for schools to use for field research.
  • Chebeague and Cumberland Land Trust (CCLT), “Early Childhood Place-Based Learning Program.” CCLT will be implementing a new program called “CCLT Explorers.” The program will expose 3-6 year-olds from three private early childhood programs in Cumberland and the public school on Chebeague Island to direct experiences in the natural world. The activities will take place on various CCLT protected properties including Broad Cove Reserve in Cumberland, and Rose’s Point and Chandler Preserve in Chebeague Island.
  • Falmouth Land Trust (FLT), “Millcreek Bioblitz.” A team of FLT volunteer citizen scientists will inventory vegetation communities in Millcreek in a weekend “bioblitz.” The data will provide baseline documentation to help track changes in ecosystem health as coastal conditions respond to climate change. This ecology-focused project will inform management of this delicate ecosystem remaining in Falmouth’s Residential and Commercial growth area.
  • Friends of Fort Gorges, “Fort Gorges Docent Program.” Each year, thousands of visitors wander through the Fort without any context or background knowledge of its significance. The Friends of Fort Gorges will create a new docent program, training a pool of volunteers that will educate visitors about the historical significance of Fort Gorges, its relationship to Casco Bay, and other ecological features of the Bay.

Spring 2019 Habitat Protection Fund Awards Announced

Robinson Pond South. Photo: Cape Elizabeth Land Trust

  • Casco Bay Estuary Partnership (CBEP) has announced the spring 2019 Casco Bay Habitat Protection Fund awards. CBEP made three awards, for a total of $22,000, for projects in Cape Elizabeth, Sebago, and Freeport. With the Habitat Protection Fund, CBEP supports the permanent protection of aquatic habitats in the Casco Bay watershed. The Fund provides cost-sharing grants to land trusts and municipalities to support transaction and acquisition costs.CBEP made the following spring 2019 awards:Cape Elizabeth Land Trust (CELT), Robinson Pond South project. CBEP contributed a total of $15,000 to this project over two funding rounds in spring 2018 and spring 2019.  This latest addition of 51.9 acres makes Robinson Woods, at 197 acres, the largest permanently conserved contiguous preserve in Cape Elizabeth.  According to CELT Executive Director, Cindy Krum, this property is “a treasure, comprised of beautiful wetlands, mature forests, stone walls, fields, and a pristine stream. The preserve also provides exceptional habitat for a variety of inland and tidal waterfowl as well as a wide variety of native birds, plants and animals.” CBEP Program Manager Matt Craig noted several factors that went into the award decision; he notes that the property “has land that is suitable for salt marsh migration under sea level rise scenario, is near existing conserved land and valuable habitats, is highly threatened by development, and offers a new opportunity for public access.”Loon Echo Land Trust, Tiger Hill Community Forest.  CBEP contributed a total of $12,000 to this project over two funding rounds, in spring 2018 and spring 2019.   Loon Echo Land Trust and The Trust for Public Land are working in partnership with the community of Sebago, Maine to acquire and create Tiger Hill Community Forest. This project will sustain and enhance vitally important aquatic ecosystems, including 325 acres of wetlands and ponds and 29,500 feet of frontage on the Northwest River, a coldwater fishery that supports Sebago Lake’s landlocked salmon and native brook trout population. According to Matt Markot, Loon Echo Land Trust Executive Director, “This property is located in the most rapidly growing region of Maine, and the land will likely be sold for residential development if not conserved. Its conservation will help protect Sebago Lake, a critical drinking water source for over one-sixth of Maine residents, and a cold-water fishery that supports Sebago Lake’s landlocked salmon and native brook trout populations. ”

    Sebago Community Forest. Photo: Loon Echo Land Trust

    Freeport Conservation Trust. This grassroots land trust in Freeport will receive a Habitat Protection Fund award for a coastal habitat protection project that is “still in the negotiation stages and so must remain confidential for now,” according to the Trust’s Executive Director Katrina Van Dusen.