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Protect the Kennebec Estuary through Real Estate Transactions
The Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (KELT) is an organization comprised of staff, volunteers and scientists working to learn about and protect the Kennebec Estuary Region. As a member of Investing In Communities®, the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust can receive funding from a variety of real estate transactions, including home sales and purchases, and commercial leases. To date, $6,905 has been raised for the organization through IIC. At no cost, supporters can use the IIC platform to help protect this vital New England ecosystem of international significance.
For 30 years, KELT has worked to protect wildlife in an area threatened by natural and human influences. Formed through community meetings in surrounding towns, state representatives and conservation activists, the organization serves residents of 9 towns through activities that take place on land and water.
These efforts are possible through KELT’s Citizen Science Program, which pairs scientists with volunteers who want to make a difference in the area. The program coordinates efforts for hundreds of volunteers that make vital practices possible. Through four citizen science programs, KELT provides vital services to the estuary in order to sustain its health as a key contributor to water in the Gulf of Maine. Below is information about each project underway now.
Water Quality Sampling
The Water Quality Sampling project started in 2013 and now takes place at 19 sites across the participating towns surrounding the Kennebec Estuary. By collecting water samples, volunteers are able to record important information regarding the water’s quality and clarity. Because the estuary contributes over 6 billion gallons of water to the Gulf of Maine each day, it’s important to keep track of the following factors:
- Weather Conditions – keep track of the effect various weather patterns have on the area;
- Temperature – note the slightest variations that could have major impacts on sensitive organisms living in the estuary;
- Dissolved Oxygen (DO) – follow levels of DO on the surface of the water to ensure the wellness of marine life, plants, and animals; and
- pH – seek insights into how human practices are affecting the natural balance of the ecosystem.
Bird Monitoring programs allow for human presence in the area’s ecosystem to leave wildlife, plantlife and other organisms either unaffected or neutrally influenced by external visitors to their home. Monitoring birds in the area assists KELT in determining proper actions regarding the following considerations:
- Trail Routing and Usage – make decisions on trail management in order to avoid a negative impact on avian habitats and other living organisms;
- Build a Better Relationship between Birds and Humans – allow humans to enjoy the natural environment without disturbing the feeding, mating and nesting of birds; and
- Improve Bird Awareness for Local Property Owners – increase assistance from property owners near or on the estuary in order to engage more volunteers for bird monitoring activities
Nequasset Alewife Count
Nequasset Lake is a cornerstone of the local alewife population of the region. This population is essential to the Gulf of Maine’s food chain. Monitoring the lake’s fish count benefits the estuary in a number of ways:
- The Health of the Run – determines if the run is still a hospitable environment for healthy alewife reproduction and population growth; and
- Future Restoration Projects – identifies possible efforts that can be made to assist the alewife run.
Green Crab Monitoring
The Kennebec Estuary isn’t only home to native species. Green crabs are invasive organisms that are detrimental to native clams, eelgrass and other marsh species. Monitoring the green crab population, which utilizes few resources, protects the native organisms. This work includes the use of:
- Green Crab Traps – furthers knowledge about why their population may be spiking and why migration patterns may be changing;and
- Volunteers – KELT enlists everyone from middle school classes to weekend volunteers to track green crab populations.
Real Estate Sales, Purchases, and Leases Further KELT’s Citizen Science Program
At no cost, individuals and companies that are passionate about the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s mission can turn almost every type of brokered real estate transaction into funding for these programs. The purchase or sale of a $300,000 home can generate $1,300 of free funding to support KELT’s efforts to protect ecosystems and their native species.. If you already have an agent in mind for your transaction, you can use IIC’s free platform, before you enter into an agreement with that agent, to arrange your support of the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust. Or, IIC will identify agents who are selected for your consideration based upon their experience with your desired type of property, its price range, and even the neighborhoods of interest to you. . Start today, and give back in a meaningful way.
Total IIC Funding: