Sears Island friends plan improvements

Posted Aug. 02, 2009, at 10:45 p.m.

SEARSPORT, Maine — Friends of Sears Island, or FOSI, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection, restoration and appreciation of Sears Island through research, public education and advocacy, recently secured permission from the Maine Department of Transportation to undertake several improvements in the 600-acre Sears Island Conservation Area.

The first project, almost completed, is a steps-and-ramp structure leading to the beach on the northeast tip of the island, making it easier and safer for people to get over the bank and reducing erosion.

FOSI also plans to place an informational kiosk near the entrance to the island, repair and enhance the Sylvester Homestead Trail, place small signs for visitor guidance, and education and work with professional ecologists to conduct a thorough natural resource inventory of the 600 acres.

According to DOT’s Deane VanDusen, FOSI will work with Maine Coast Heritage Trust, holder of a Sears Island conservation easement, to ensure that signs are placed outside fragile habitats and that the trail improvements conform to best management practices that control erosion and protect important ecological features of the property.

The Sears Island Advisory Group will play an important role in future Sears Island improvement decisions of this sort. That group held its first meeting July 30 in the Searsport Public Safety Building.

For more information about FOSI and its work on Sears Island, contact FOSI, P.O. Box 348, Searsport 04974.

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