Land Added to Carson National Wildlife Refuge (ME)

Kennebunk, Maine: Today, the Trust for Public Land (TPL) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the addition of 157 acres on Brown Street off of Route 9 to the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. The property, which was purchased for $1.94 million from the Murray Dwight family, lies near Parsons Beach along the Mousam River estuary, one of the principal estuaries that the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge was created to protect. Last year, Congress appropriated funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to the Refuge, which was used for the acquisition of this property.

“I am pleased to have helped secure the funds necessary to protect this vital open space parcel in Maine’s densely populated southern region. I will continue to support funding to conserve additional properties, offered by interested sellers, that can buffer the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge—an area of extraordinary beauty and natural diversity,” said Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME).

“Southern Maine faces intense development pressures, and today’s purchase is another important step forward in offsetting those pressures by protecting the region’s water quality and wildlife habitat,” stated Senator Susan Collins (R-ME). “I am proud to have worked to support this newest addition to the Rachel Carson Refuge.”

“The Mousam River acquisition is an important addition to the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge,” said Congressman Tom Allen (D-ME01). “This refuge is a natural treasure, and I will continue to support efforts to buffer and preserve it.”

“The completion of this project is an important milestone in the larger effort to protect both habitat for wildlife and the character of southern coastal Maine from growing development pressures,” said Jennifer Melville, project manager for TPL. “The Trust for Public Land is pleased to be working in partnership with Maine’s Congressional delegation, local organizations, and the Rachel Carson Refuge to protect and expand this natural and scenic jewel on Maine’s coast.”

Ward Feurt, refuge manager at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, points out, “Relatively large blocks of undeveloped land are rare along the coast. The good stewardship of the Dwight family is responsible for the valuable wildlife habitat left on these 157 acres. The Service wants to thank the Trust for Public Land, Senators Collins and Snowe, Congressman Allen, the Kennebunk Land Trust, and the Friends of Rachel Carson for their hard work to preserve land for wildlife.”

Land around the Mousam River Estuary is a high protection priority for the Refuge because of the unique mix of pitch pine forests and open fields, which supports nesting populations of declining bird species, including bobolinks, black-throated green warblers, and scarlet tanagers. The property acquired today lies adjacent to existing Refuge holdings and includes wetlands, open fields, barrens, and woodlands. Its protection was supported by the Friends of Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, Kennebunk Land Trust, Maine Congressional delegation, Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, and the Trust for Public Land.

The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System and protects more than 5,000 acres between Kittery and Cape Elizabeth. Named after Rachel Carson, one of America’s most well-known naturalists, the Refuge was established in 1966 to protect valuable salt marshes, estuaries, and other important wildlife habitat. The Refuge’s headquarters are located in Wells, Maine, and can be reached at (207) 646-9226.

The Trust for Public Land is a national conservation organization dedicated to protecting land for people to enjoy as parks and open space. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 1.2 million acres nationwide, including more than 30,000 acres in Maine. The Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money Magazine recently named TPL the nation’s most efficient large conservation charity, based on the percentage of funds dedicated to programs. For more information, visit