Little River Estuary

Funding Round/Year: 
Project Sponsor: 
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
MNRCP Region: 
Southern Maine
Wells and Kennebunk
Total Cost of Project: 
MNRCP Award: 
Project Type: 
Project Description: 
USFWS will perform a wetland enhancement project in 141 acres of salt marsh in the Little River estuary. The goals include restoring vegetation to areas improperly inundated, rebuilding interior marsh elevation, and providing suitable saltmarsh sparrow nesting habitat. USFWS will use innovative techniques including identifying tide-sheds, determining their stage in salt marsh secondary succession, restoring single channel hydrology (using ditch remediation) and optimizing water levels (using runnels and historic ditches) to maximize plant growth and marsh elevation accretion. Project goals are to counteract sea-level rise and the loss of sediment supply to the marsh surface, to provide conditions adequate for healthy growth of native salt marsh vegetation, and to increase marsh elevation over time. The entire project area is located within the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, which is within the Wells and Ogunquit Marsh Beginning with Habitat Focus Area of Statewide Ecological Significance. Nearly the entire Premises is mapped as Tidal Waterfowl and Wading Bird Habitat and includes exemplary natural communities (salt-hay saltmarsh, coastal dune-marsh ecosystem) and rare wildlife and plants (saltmarsh sparrow, saltmarsh false-foxglove).