Park gets $400K for marsh project 

ACADIA NAT’L PARK — The park will receive $400,000 in federal funds to explore ways to preserve Bass Harbor Marsh in the face of sea level rise and the encroachment of invasive plants. 

Bass Harbor Marsh is Mount Desert Island’s largest salt marsh. Sweetgrass, which members of Maine’s Wabanaki tribes have harvested for centuries to make decorative and utilitarian baskets, is plentiful there. 

“We have been working with tribal ethnobotanists and other consultants for six years now, thinking about how to manage the sweetgrass and build a relationship of co-management with the tribes for harvesting in the salt marsh,” said Rebecca Cole-Will, Acadia’s chief of resource management. 

“The marsh is threatened by rising sea level, and a lot of invasive species encircle the marsh, as well. So, we want to continue working with our tribal partners to think about how we manage this space for the future. It’s climate-adaptive, climate-smart work.” 

Friends of Acadia has been supporting the Bass Harbor Marsh work. A page on its website says its focus is on the park’s effort “to remove the invasive glossy buckthorn, monitor biodiversity at the site and try several planting methods and native plant species mixes to determine what will best hold up to stress from climate change, deer browse, invasive earthworm disturbance to soils, invasive forest pests and other factors.” 

The $400,000 in federal funds to support the Bass Harbor Marsh project was authorized through the bi-partisan $550 billion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that Congress passed in November.  

As previously reported, Acadia is receiving $500,000 through that act for the Great Meadow restoration project. 

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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