Bell's Brook Conservation

Funding Round/Year: 
Project Sponsor: 
Downeast Coastal Conservancy
MNRCP Region: 
Downeast Maine
Total Cost of Project: 
MNRCP Award: 
Project Type: 
Fee Acquisition
Bells Brook
Project Description: 
The Bell’s Brook, West Branch Pleasant River project site is above the tide gates in Addison, which have prevented salt water from flowing up the West Branch since the 1940’s, converting about 250 acres of intertidal salt marsh to some form of freshwater wetland or upland vegetation. This site is at the confluence of Bells’ Brook and the West Branch Pleasant River and extends to the north and south of Abittoir Road. Due to the tidal restrictions at the mouth of the West Branch, the Bell's Brook parcel is primarly wet meadow with freshwater stream frontage, but with holdover species that betray its tidal past. Conservation of the Bell’s Brook parcel is strategically important to the overall project to restore tidal marshes to the West Branch of the Pleasant River by removal of the tide gates. If sold on the open market, the open meadow could easily be subject to poorly planned development resulting in opposition to the removal of the tide gates and/or shoreline armoring to prevent tidal indundation on the property. Conservation of this property will also position DCC to advocate with MDOT and the towns to remove the undersized culvert under Abittoir Road and to raise the road level at the culvert to accommodate high tide flows of the West Branch.