Casco Bay Estuary Partnership has announced the 2018 Casco Bay Community Grants awards.

Fifteen proposals were submitted for a total of nearly $40,000. Of these, five awards were made, for a total of $10,000, for projects in Bridgton, Cape Elizabeth, Harpswell, Phippsburg and West Bath, and South Portland.

The mission of the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership is to help conserve the ecological integrity of Casco Bay and its watershed through science, public stewardship and effective management. CBEP focuses scientific expertise and financial resources on helping watershed communities address challenges such as water pollution, habitat degradation, and adaptation to climate change.

Through the Casco Bay Community Grants Program, CBEP seeks to encourage new partnerships and innovative projects that engage communities with Casco Bay and its watershed, and that are tied in with the 2016 Casco Bay Plan.

The following 2017 Casco Bay Community Grant awards were made:

  • Cape Elizabeth Land Trust, “Great Pond and Alewife Brook Water Quality Monitoring.” The Land Trust will engage Cape Elizabeth High School and community members in citizen science to enhance their understanding of Great Pond’s place in the Casco Bay Watershed, as well as the impact small tributaries have on the watershed as a whole.
  • Town of Harpswell and Harpswell Conservation Commission, “Harpswell Citizen Scientists Document Sea Level Changes.”  The project will involve new volunteers from local road associations and students from Harpswell Coastal Academy to use photos and measurements to document the impact of sea level rise on vulnerable roads and adjoining wetlands.
  • Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (KELT), “Community Clam Conservation.” KELT will collaborate with Phippsburg Elementary School, West Bath School, Phippsburg Land Trust and the Phippsburg Shellfish Committee to carry out education, conservation and research focused on marine environments. KELT will also create a “How-To” fact sheet that will be shared with other educators in the Casco Bay region with guidelines for implementing a clam conservation project.
  • Lakes Environmental Association, “Headwaters Initiative: Exploring our Watershed.” Fifth grade students in the Lake Region District will engage in a number of citizen science projects aimed at better understanding of their place in the Casco Bay Watershed and how their actions affect the watershed.
  • City of South Portland and Friends of Pope Preserve, “Pope Preserve.”  These partners will complement their work to restore Pope Preserve, also known as Mill Cove Preserve, with the installation of educational signage that illustrates the ecology of a tidal estuary, why native plants are important to the site, and the site’s shipbuilding history.