Members of both Damariscotta River Association and Pemaquid Watershed Association have united as Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust.
Members of both Damariscotta River Association and Pemaquid Watershed Association have united as Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust.

Four Coastal Maine Conservation Groups Opt for Joining Forces

Several months ago, four organizations in midcoast Maine set off on a journey; now they have become two more effective land trusts. 

Pemaquid Watershed Association (PWA) and Damariscotta River Association (DRA) have united to form Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust. DRA Executive Director Steven Hufnagel has been named Executive Director of the new combined organization. The unified Board of Trustees will include all current members of the two parent boards, under the leadership of an Executive Committee with strong representation from both. 

“I think in knitting together DRA and PWA we hit a sweet spot in terms of geographic and organizational scale,” Steven observes. “While becoming even more effective regionally, we remain responsive and grounded locally.” 

In a similar move, Medomak Valley Land Trust has merged with Midcoast Conservancy, resulting in an organization that now protects over 12,000 acres, has 55 preserves on 5,800 acres with over 85 miles of public access trails, and protects over 13 miles of shoreline on the Medomak River and 9 miles on the Sheepscot River. Jody Jones, Executive Director commented, “By joining forces, our staff of 18 plus hundreds of volunteers can do a better job caring our three jewels: the Sheepscot and Medomak rivers from source to sea and Damariscotta Lake.” Wildlife, fisheries, climate resiliency and local economies all benefit from merging, now five organizations in all.

These organizations believe that their futures are brighter together than they would have been alone. We wish them the best of luck in their journeys, and much success in the coming summer season.