Kittery Land Trust Works to Protect the Brave Boat Headwaters

Nestled in the heart of Brave Boat Harbor between Route 103, Bartlett and Payne Roads the Brave Boat Headwaters Project is part of the largest natural block of land remaining in Kittery, Maine. The Kittery Land Trust (KLT) sought to protect this property about two years ago purchasing a 60-acre lot originally slotted to become a 27-lot subdivision. Following the initial purchase, landowners were inspired and committed to conserving an additional 90 acres  Once complete, the Brave Boat Headwaters (150 acres) will act as critical corridor between the 800+acres at the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge and the 150 acres of the Kittery Land Trust’s Norton Preserve. This project will help to create a contiguous block of undisturbed lands for wildlife, birds, water resources and us!

The lands and waters of the Brave Boat Headwaters are teeming with ecological magic from

eagles overhead to vernal pools teeming with egg masses to rare and endangered Blandings  turtles. Everyone’s favorite wildlife cutie the river otter travels between the fresh water of the forested uplands to the salt marsh of the Rachel Carson Refuge. And exploration and relaxation abound for us humans too – the road alongside the preserve is a very popular biking route, paddling is endless amongst it’s winding tributaries and the historic stone walls and old homestead fields reminds us of Kittery’s rich past.

Once complete the project is an essential piece of the puzzle in the Mount Agamenticus to Sea Initiative. An ongoing effort by a number of different local, state and federal partners to protect a network of connected conservation lands and natural resources within a 48,000-acre focus area in Southern Maine for the benefit of people and wildlife.The Brave Boat Headwaters Project is the link to the Sea.

“I think what really makes the Headwaters project so special to me is knowing what a critical connection it is to conservation lands to the east and west.  I also leave feeling very serene knowing that whatever may happen in the years and decades to come, however the world may change, this land will be allowed to remain land, in its natural state and its history will be brought forward by the future stewards at KLT,” explains KLT’s Executive Director, Christine Bennett.

The KLT has worked tirelessly to knit together different funding sources to cover the expenses of purchasing the $1.98 million they paid to purchase the lands. They are about halfway there with generous funds from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Land for Maine’s Future award, private foundations as well as individual pledges. Interested in helping protect the Brave Boat Headwaters? You can become a member of the Kittery Land Trust or just commit a one-time donation to this project. Keep connected with KLT’s efforts through their website.

PREP is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuary Program, a joint program between local, state and federal agencies established under the Clean Water Act with the goal of protecting and enhancing nationally significant estuarine resources. PREP is supported in part by an EPA matching grant and is housed within the School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering at the University of New Hampshire.