EDUCATION AND LEARNING

OUR LAND, OUR WATER, OUR FUTURE

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Posted Oct. 16, 2013, at 2:40 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013 7 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Location: Maine Maritime Museum, 243 Washington St, Bath, Maine

For more information: Becky Kolak; 442-8400; kennebecestuary.org/2013-lecture-series-turning-knowledge-into-action

KELT unveils its Conservation Plan in second environmental lecture

BATH- The Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (KELT) presents the second event of its annual environmental lecture series at 7pm on Thursday, October 24th at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath.

The 2013 series, Turning Knowledge into Action, explores the developing relationship between academic research, scientific data, and community action for environmental benefit.

To assist with long term conservation goals and priorities, KELT is currently drafting a Conservation Plan which is the focus of the second fall environmental lecture- OUR LAND, OUR WATER, OUR FUTURE: A CONSERVATION PLAN FOR THE KENNEBEC ESTUARY.

Audience participation is a crucial component of the evening. KELT wants to know from community members where their favorite places to explore are; where they think the best vistas are; and where they think KELT should work to protect public access to water, fishing grounds, and culturally significant sites.

The evening speakers will begin with Jim Connolly, Director of Resource Management at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, presenting Maine’s wildlife conservation strategy. Connolly, a former Regional Biologist in the Kennebec Estuary, will cover why the estuary has state and national significance and the State Wildlife Action Plan in which the Kennebec Estuary is identified as a Maine conservation priority.

Next KELT’s Executive Director, Carrie Kinne, and Land Conservation and Farmland Protection Specialist, Chris Cabot, will present the current status of the land trust’s Conservation Plan, discuss what it will be used for, and unveil new maps of the Estuary.

A conservation plan will help the land trust prioritize the lands that it can realistically pursue in the face of high land costs and competing land uses. This plan will set acquisition priorities, identify conservation focus areas, and inform members and the public of the rationale behind conservation efforts. The plan serves as an educational tool, helping land trust decision makers set priorities based on input from the local residents and accurate scientific data.

KELT encourages any and all comments about its vision for having a meaningful impact on the landscape and the quality of life of this area’s residents, both human and wildlife. At the meeting on the 24th, KELT would welcome opinions on newly developed maps which show ecological features “hotspots”, or areas where wildlife habitats, rare species, prime farmlands, and conserved lands are most densely located. The land trust wants to craft a thoughtful and consistent approach to our conservation work, and we need the community’s help doing so.

A $5.00 donation is suggested for the lecture, and there is a free tour of KELT’s newest preserve- Lily Pond Community Forest by Chris Cabot of KELT on Saturday, October 26 at 1:00pm. Please register for the walk by contacting KELT at 442-8400 or info@kennebecestuary.org. This series is generously sponsored by Bath Savings Trust Company.

Subsequent lectures in the 2013 Turning Knowledge into Action series:

November 21 Building Resilience to a Rising Sea – 7pm Maine Maritime Museum

Learn how four estuary communities are using new LIDAR data to plan for protection of their infrastructure and natural resources.

The Kennebec Estuary Land Trust is a membership supported organization dedicated to protecting the land, water and wildlife of the Kennebec Estuary. It maintains eight preserves for public enjoyment and has protected 2,102 acres of land since founding in 1989. FMI contact www.kennebecestuary.org or call (207) 442-8400.

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