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The Island Trail The Newsletter of the Maine Island Trail Association • Winter 2006/2007

Cruising the Coast with Children

Taking Care of the Bay

By Peg Willauer-Tobey, MITA Development Coordinator

By Vinny Marotta, Casco Bay Caretaker

Kids and tight spaces do not normally get along together. We’ve all experienced the torture of the long car ride to visit relatives. Even being confined to a large two-story house on a rainy day can be challenging. If close quarters inevitably cause kids to start bouncing off the walls, why does anyone ever bother trying to sail the Maine coast with children? For me, it’s a matter of tradition. I grew up sailing with my family. For two weeks every summer my parents, sister, brother, and I loaded into the car and drove up to Northeast Harbor where we’d pick up a 40-foot Alden yawl. We had two weeks to deliver the boat to Cape Cod. Every year it was the same: for a week and a half we’d explore the inlets, harbors, and islands on the Maine coast, and then in the final three days we would set a course for the Cape and deliver the boat. (continued on page 8)

In This Issue Ten Years on the Trail See page 3

Partner Profile See page 9

Four Trail Islands Permanently Protected See page 10

Reflections on Four Summers on Jewell Island For the last four summers Jewell Island has been my home away from home, my workplace, and my chance to meet the Casco Bay boating community and many coastal cruisers. It has been my duty and privilege to be the Maine Island Trail Association’s Casco Bay caretaker. I’ve spent some days all alone on the island with the deer, birds, ticks, and ghosts, with the 18-foot Lund floating solo in Cocktail Cove; and I’ve spent others running all over the 221-acre, mile-long island with hundreds of visitors and up to 40 boats in the cove. Representing MITA and trying to get our mission across has not always been easy. Jewell Island attracts a crowd of great people who like to get together for annual campouts and have a good time. Although some visitors arrive there seeking a more tranquil, natural island experience, the majority of overnight users come to party it up. They still do appreciate the remote and beautiful location, but they may not be as knowledgeable or as concerned about Leave No Trace and low impact island visitation as we would like them to be. Still, there are definite signs of improvement. In 2003, the third year of the caretaker program and my first on the island, there was much vandalism of signs and privies, plus purposeful littering at the campsites. Many visitors felt the caretaker presence was taking away from their island camping experience For four years, caretaker Vinny Marotta has and they were angry. This was a major misunderstanding, as MITA and provided a strong but welcoming MITA presence in Casco Bay. the caretaker want to keep the islands available for all while trying to inspire responsible use. Today, after four seasons of meeting many if not most of the repeat Jewell visitors, I think I can confidently say that the resentfulness toward the caretaker has gone way down, and respect for what MITA is trying to do with Jewell has gone way up. This is a success, but not a total success. Even campers who I would now call my friends still tend to “leave a trace.” People with whom I have visited time after time and had great meals and conversations with still leave a trace. Visitors who come to the island when there is no caretaker on duty often destroy their fire ring and leave toilet paper around. So, toward the end of season four I thought to myself, “Someone will always have to clean up here.” (continued on page 4) 1

FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR New Leadership By Karen Stimpson

MITA BOARD OF TRUSTEES Peter Adams, Yarmouth ME Greg Barmore, Harpswell ME • James Bildner, Boston MA • Bill Brown, Brooksville ME • Scott Camlin, Belmont MA • Steve Gent, Cape Elizabeth, ME • Tony Jessen, Freeport ME Annette Naegel, Camden ME • Chuck Remmel, Portland ME • Joan Smith, Portland ME • Greg Shute, Wiscasset ME • Stafford Soule, Freeport ME • Steve Spencer, Augusta ME • Natalie Springuel, Bar Harbor ME • Hans Underdahl, Yarmouth ME •Rod Vogel, Cumberland ME • Jeremy Wintersteen, Boston MA Julie Wormser, Littleton MA STAFF Karen Stimpson • Executive Director Patricia Dano • Business Manager Tom Franklin • Director of Marketing & Membership Lisa Kelley • Membership Manager Kevin Lomangino • Newsletter Editor Brian Marcaurelle • Stewardship Manager Dave Mention • Trail Director Peg Willauer-Tobey • Development Coordinator Pro-bono newsletter design services by Jillfrances Gray JFG Graphic Design|Art Direction The Maine Island Trail is a 350-mile long waterway extending from Cape Porpoise on the west to Machias Bay on the east. Along the route, state-owned and private islands are available to members or the public for overnight stopovers where one can picnic or camp in a wilderness setting. The Maine Island Trail Association (MITA) is a nonprofit conservation organization, whose goal is to establish a model of thoughtful use and volunteer stewardship for the Maine islands that will assure their conservation in a natural state while providing an exceptional recreational asset that is maintained and cared for by the people who use it. This goal is achieved by encouraging a philosophy of lowimpact use and environmental awareness among MITA’s members and island visitors. MAINE ISLAND TRAIL ASSOCIATION 58 Fore Street, Building 30, 3rd Floor Portland, ME 04101 (207) 761-8225 •

Vol. 17


No. 2

By the time this newsletter hits economy, philanthropic trends, and your mailbox, MITA should be well changes in MITA’s own priorities. on its way toward We’ve made some significant identifying a new progress in development already. Executive Director Our boat donation program has for the organization. realized almost $120,500 in boat sales As I’m sure you (many thanks to the 30 of you who are aware, we’ve have donated boats to MITA, and to managed to increase Block Island Maritime Funding, Inc., the Trail system for handling these gifts for us!) and substantially over we have just launched a Business the past couple of years (16 new and Corporate Partner’s Program. islands and 3 mainland sites this year I am very much looking forward alone!), and with this spectacular to helping build our Major Gift growth have come Program, growing immense new our endowment, It’s a perfect time to responsibilities and initiating a more augment our leadership comprehensive that demand additional outreach, team to better support planned giving stewardship, and expanded operations. program. monitoring projects. In the meantime, It’s a perfect time to I’d like to say augment our leadership team to better that it has given me great joy and support expanded operations and help satisfaction to lead MITA. The ride guide MITA into its third decade of has often been exhilarating (especially stewardship and access management during the rogue growth waves!), along the Maine coast. It’s also a perfect sometimes scary (the financially lean time for me to focus in on what MITA days early on), and always rewarding. needs the most right about now: a Whether out on the Trail with strong fundraising effort! volunteers scouting new islands, or in So, after eight years at the helm of the boardroom with Trustees penning MITA, I will be stepping aside in the a strategic plan, I have thoroughly coming months to allow someone enjoyed my tenure as Executive else to take the wheel. It’s a move Director. And at every step along the I have considered for some time, way I’ve been helped by enthusiastic as it will bring fresh energy and a volunteers, members, and staff, to new perspective to this critical but whom I will be forever grateful. extremely demanding post within I am very excited for MITA as the organization. It will also free it moves into this new leadership me up to take on new and different era…pleased that the staff and Board kinds of challenges in fundraising, embrace the many opportunities for an area where there is great potential growth and change that lie ahead, for growth but which needs more and so incredibly proud of this little resources and attention. organization that I have had the With a change in leadership, and privilege to “skipper” these past eight more development horsepower, the years! Association has the opportunity (and responsibility!) to build our capacity Karen Stimpson can be reached via e-mail so as to ensure permanent access to at and exemplary care of our expanding and popular water trail. This capacity building must include substantial long-term funding strategies that anticipate shifts in the national

The Difference a Decade Makes Revisiting the Maine Island Trail After 10 Years By Reinhard Zollitsch It was ten years ago that I first paddled the entire Maine Island Trail (MIT) from Portland to Machias— and what a thrill it was, especially since I was using my 16-foot open whitewater solo racing canoe. In the meantime I have advanced to a covered 17’2” Kruger Sea Wind sea canoe with rudder and spray skirt. I also finished a big 4000-mile loop around all the New England states and the Canadian Maritime provinces. Ever since then, I had been looking forward to coming home and getting another close look at our Maine coast and seeing how the Maine Island Trail Association has changed over the past ten years, if at all. When I had finished paddling the MIT in 1996, I immediately wanted to know what lay beyond the Trail to the south and the north. In the following two years I checked out the shoreline from Portland to Boston and from Machias to St. John, New Brunswick in my trusty sea canoe. But not until this year did the MIT expand, at least to the south, to the Cape Porpoise area, a tad northeast of Kennebunkport. So on June 29, 2006 I set out to check Cape Porpoise to see if it could be a viable starting point to a MIT trip.

MIT Extension

My wife Nancy was kind enough to shuttle me to the put-in. Even our daughter Brenda came down from Portland to see me off, thanking me for being a good father of the bride for her wedding twelve days prior. (Except for our younger daughter Kim, all guests had left, including our two sons Mark and Lee from the West Coast. Is this my “time off for good behavior”? Anyway, I’ll take it–I need it.) As for the put-in at Cape Porpoise, there was none: no public boat launch, no ramp, no parking, no water to fill my tanks, no outhouse, and it was dead low tide in pea soup fog to boot—bummer. The “Town Wharf”

Reinhard commences his journey at the Tattle Corner launch.

on Bickford Island turned out to be the town’s lobster coop, and what parking there was, was filled with lobstermen’s cars. At low tide, the stretch out to the wharf was a sea of mud. I quickly decided that the boat landing at Tattle Corner on the Saco River, just below Biddeford, would be a much better option. Now here you have what every boater has been dreaming about: a quiet, new, tworamp boat launch with floating dock, lots of parking, outhouses, sheltered deep water, no fog, and all within a few miles of the interstate, which you are most likely coming on—and all that for free. I liked that, and decided to start my trip to Machias right here, suddenly regaining my usual positive attitude. Thanks, I needed that!

On the Trail Again

So I was off on the Trail, but I didn’t deceive myself into thinking I could reach the next MITA site in Casco Bay, “28 miles down the coast from Cape Porpoise,” as the Guidebook suggests. (It’s already 30 miles from the Cape to

Portland Head Light, and you are not even in Casco Bay yet.) Trust me, you can’t get there from here. The stretch from Cape Porpoise into Casco Bay is a formidable piece of real estate, definitely not for beginners, and even most intermediate paddlers could encounter major difficulties rounding Biddeford Pool, Prouts Neck, Richmond Island, not to mention the stretch from Cape Elizabeth to Portland Head Light with its many ledgy fingers extending far out into the sea, causing crashing waves farther out than you would want to go. Launching at the well-appointed public boat ramp in Portland, which leads into the sheltered island world of Casco Bay, is still the best way to start a trip on the MIT. The islands off Cape Porpoise are great to explore for a weekend, but do put in somewhere else, and definitely do not start your MIT trip here. You’ll be sorry. My first night out, though, was nicely peaceful with a wild turkey hen strutting past my tent door around supper time, checking out the island intruder. I bounded around the ledges off Cape Elizabeth the next morning (continued on page 5) 3

MITA Salutes Marotta Labor Day 2006 marked the end of Vinny Marotta’s fourth and likely final summer as Casco Bay Caretaker stationed on Jewell Island. It was a fantastic run in which Vinny helped build the fledgling program into a key institution of stewardship for Jewell and nearby Trail islands. Through his tremendous hard work and unfailing hospitality to visitors, Vinny made the caretaker a valued and welcome addition to the Jewell community. There is no way to even begin to calculate the value of Vinny’s services over these four years, but we know that during his time on the island he has: • recorded 4758 day users, 2609 campers, 1268 tents, 402 kayaks, 1385 sailboats, 1390 motorboats. • spent roughly 80 evenings in a tent each summer, or 320 evenings over his 4 years. • educated thousands of visitors about low-impact camping • maintained the island’s 10 fire pits and 5 privies • endured thousands of mosquito bites! • removed hundreds of bags of wash-up trash • maintained miles of hiking trails on the island • made more than 120 trips to and from Jewell without damaging a propeller! • caught several dozen striped bass from his favorite fishing spots (the locations of which Vinny has asked us not to disclose). We hope members will join us in thanking Vinny for his efforts and wishing him the best of luck in his future endeavors.


Taking Care of the Bay (continued from cover) Where does this leave us? Jewell and the other Casco Bay islands are all currently maintained by MITA and volunteers and are looking great. I just hope the future visitors continue to realize the importance of such resources, appreciate the opportunities we have, and therefore maintain the islands and campsites to a high standard. People love to come to these uninhabited islands to recreate and relax. We just have to continue getting our message across. “It’s all about takin’ care of the islands.”

Jewell Island and the freedom that is associated with it, as far as I’m concerned, is a major privilege. I want to be able to go there in 20 years and have it be just the way it is now (except for the mosquitoes!)—well maintained, with an informative, friendly caretaker, and no fees, permits, or registration required. As long as we take care of the island and no major catastrophes occur, I think this is very possible. If we abuse it, I’m afraid we will lose it. Thank you MITA for a great four summers, and thanks to all the many good people I’ve met along the way.

The caretaker’s 18-foot Lund floats solo in Cocktail Cove.

The Difference... (continued from page 3) and got into Casco Bay in thick fog, so thick I could barely see Portland Head Light, and had to feel my way across to Cushing, Peaks, Long and Great Chebeague to Bangs Island. Visibility was greatly improved the next day, so I was able to cross over to Potts and Harpswell Harbor, go under the unique Wills Gut granite slab bridge between Bailey and Orrs Islands, swing around the next big bay and even bounce around Cape Small into Seal Cove. I knew from past sailing and other boating experiences that I had to set up right for the approach to the mouth of the Kennebec.

Camping on Dry Island in Gouldsboro Bay.

The bar off the point had just enough water on it for waves to break on, so instead of landing there, I tried plan B. I caught a big wave and surfed Unfortunately the tide the next it forever, it seemed, till it too broke on morning was running out towards the shallow bar with me bracing in the me, while a strong 20-knot southwest froth. At that very moment I was hit wind on top of some old much bigger by a breaking wave coming at me from swells was running against it—the the other side. Whew, that was close! worst scenario for this brief fiveA vigorous sprint got me across mile stretch to Fort Popham. I felt I the rest of the bar and towards Fort could stay out of the tidal melee by Popham, where I had to rest, bail hugging the shore, but soon noticed out, switch charts and calm my I had made a bad mistake. The shore somewhat frazzled nerves with some break went all the way out to Heron, food and drink. Crossing the mouth Fox and Wood Island, and I found of the Kennebec itself was a piece myself on the very edge of what my of cake compared boat and I could The lesson from this to what I had just handle. The waves The were humungous, harrowing ride is clear: encountered. lesson from this breaking with 20- to Do not attempt to run harrowing ride is 30-foot crests. I surfed my laden the stretch from Cape clear: Do not attempt to run the stretch boat as I had never Small to the Kennebec from Cape Small done before and got to the Kennebec on on an ebb tide with a whomped in the ebb tide with a chest several times. strong southwest wind an strong southwest I threaded my way running against it. wind running through the Fox against it. This may Islands, because be the worst stretch of the entire the bar towards shore was white. But Maine coast beware! then my mind refused to go outside of Gliding into Boothbay Harbor from Wood Island. I would have dumped the north, through Townsend Gut and for sure and would have been taken following the Southport Island shore out to sea, a thought I did not relish at to a camping area recommended in all. So I opted instead for a hard, wet the MITA Guidebook, was strangely surf landing where the Wood Island controlled and civilized. Then I found Bar touches Popham Beach, hoping out there was no camping near shore, that my bullet-proof Kevlar boat but the owner agreed to truck my gear would survive.

The Tidal Maelstrom of the Kennebec

to a site in the woods. I had no choice and made the best of the situation and the shocking $29 camping fee.

Pemaquid Point to Muscongus Bay

The morning dawned sunny, calm and warm, a perfect day for my itinerary around Ocean Point, through the Thread of Life just east of Christmas Cove, and across to Pemaquid Point. From a landlubber’s point of view, Pemaquid Point looks rough, but it is nothing compared to other capes like Petit Manan, which was still to come. This headland is absolutely clean except for one little ledge outcropping, and the tides are very predictable, the ebb tide out of both Johns and Muscongus Bay again being worse than the flood tide. I pulled out on Thief Island for the night, which I had to share with five other parties and two more groups of visitors. As the MITA guide indicates, Thief is a very popular spot, which I will avoid in the future for that reason. It was definitely too crowded for me, even though I had a friendly conversation with a former student of mine and her husband, who builds the most beautiful wooden sea kayaks I have ever seen. I continued my 20-mile-a-day goal, heading across Muscongus Bay towards Port Clyde, and around beautiful Marshal Point Light to Tenants Harbor and the tiny island of (continued on page 6) 5

The Difference... (continued from page 5) Cylends near Spruce Head. Fog had settled in again and hung around all night and the whole next day also. But this did not deter the citizens of Sprucehead Island from celebrating the 4th of July with significant fireworks.

Crossing Formidable Penobscot Bay

The fog was just as thick the next day up the Muscle Ridge Channel to Owls Head and across to the Rockland breakwater, past fog-clad Rockport and Camden and across to Warren Island, Maine’s only State Park that is only accessible by water and is MITA’s favorite meeting place.

using those narrows. Weir Island also has a beautiful flow-through pocket beach for landing your boat and swimming—all in all, a very enticing place, a definite repeat. I had just rounded into the Thorofare the next morning when I noticed the schooner American Eagle anchored off Stonington. She looked so pretty in the early rays of the rising sun that I stopped to take a few pictures. I was also impressed by the spotless brightwork and smooth paint job, and complimented the crew. I knew how much effort it takes to keep a boat in Maine waters looking that good, since I once had sailed a small schooner across the Atlantic from Camden, Maine to St. Malo, France, as a watch captain in charge of wood and canvas. The skipper must have

off Bartlett, where I had wanted to spend a night for a long time. I again had the island all to myself, but had to share the only shady spot under the big spruce tree with a myriad of ants. Little Crow Island near Winter Harbor was another tiny island I had always wanted to check out, especially since the Guidebook advises “waves may wash over the island at higher tides or in rough weather; camp at your own risk.” What a place, what views of Cadillac, Dorr and Champlain mountains to the west! Landing at mid-tide on that lovely shell beach on the east was easy, swimming was great and camping on the highest part of that beach simply divine—a true island experience if you ignored the close granite shore behind you towards the east. Nancy and our two daughters were spending the weekend at our small summer home in nearby Corea Harbor, and decided to surprise me and wave to me on my island from the mainland. Next morning I saw them again, waving towards me as I bounded around Schoodic Point, whilst I was blowing kisses towards the three most important “girls” in my life—and then I was on my own again.

Across Petit Manan Bar

The schooner American Eagle shows off her spotless brightwork.

I do not really mind fog, but I would much rather cross big Penobscot Bay on a calm sunny day. And that is exactly what I got for my big jump from the southern tip of Islesboro to Little and Great Spruce Island (about 1.5 hours away), and from there via Butter, Eagle and Sheepshead to tiny Weir Island just off Deer Isle at the western entrance of Deer Isle Thorofare and Stonington. What a delightful place, and what a perfect viewing point of the many boats and windjammers 6

overheard my comments and quietly lowered a bucket over the side with a piece of apple pie. What a friendly gesture, and in all my thousands of miles of travel in my little sea canoe, this was a first, and I told him so.

Deer Isle to Mount Desert

Then it was time to push off. I felt I was getting into very familiar waters heading up the Thorofare to the southeast end of Eggemoggin Reach at Naskeag and into Blue Hill Bay. I ended up the day at little Hub Island

I pulled out at high tide on Dry Island in Gouldsboro Bay. And after another very challenging stretch of paddling the following day, I was elated to cross Petit Manan Bar and enter Pigeon Hill Bay. As I traversed Narraguagus and Pleasant Bay towards Cape Split, a total of seven miles of more-or-less-open water, the wind came up again and thick fog to boot. I also had decided to accelerate my trip so I could be home a day early to see my younger daughter off to Prague, Czech Republic. I pushed on to Jonesport on Moosabec Reach—another hard 24-mile, 6-hour day—and camped at the campground at Henry Point. Paddling up Machias Bay in the thick of fog was anticlimactic, especially since this was the last day of my trip (July 11, 2006), day 13 for the 260 miles I paddled. By doing more open water crossings rather than

So, my friends, keep paddling, but most importantly, be prudent, be safe and enjoy—and be kind to the fragile islands when you land. Reinhard Zollitsch is a long-time MITA member and frequent contributor to The Island Trail.

The MIT: A Different Kind of Trail

Reinhard’s wife Nancy and daughter Kim wave to him on Dry Island.

going up into every bay and bight, I shortened the official 350 MITA miles by 90 miles. I again hit my planned target of 20 miles per day, and was right on time when I pulled out at the nice public boat ramp in Machias beside Helen’s Restaurant and Route 1. Our cookout that night at home in Orono worked out great and was a perfect double celebration of the end of my trip and the end of Kim’s visit for her sister’s wedding. And it was nice for Dad to see his younger daughter off to Prague the next morning.

Final Thoughts on the Trip

As for the MIT ten years later: it is still there and as challenging as ever, if you intend to paddle the entire distance, and Portland is still a much better place to start from than Cape Porpoise. I met no other paddlers who were on a trip of any length, only day or weekend paddlers on Thief Island, Pemaquid, and guided group trips around Mount Desert Island. Nobody was out in fog or anything beyond 10 knots. I only met fine weather sailors. The sites I visited all looked clean and inviting, and I signed in at each place, reading who had been there before me. The last entry was usually from the year before; and it was already past July 4. I am sure that the islands off Merchant Row to the south of Stonington/Deer Isle are frequented more often, but on my entire trip I never found a site filled; as a matter of fact, other than Thief Island (as

well as the State Park and the two commercial places I stayed at for convenience) I always had the site to myself. The nicest surprises were the tiny islands of Weir, Bartlett Hub and Little Crow. Dry Island was scratched off my list, unless I know I will arrive and leave around mid to high tide. The islands off Cape Porpoise are great for exploring if you put in somewhere other than the public wharf on Bickford Island. The stretch from here into Casco Bay should only be attempted by experts and should not really be considered the beginning of the Trail. You will be much better off starting in Portland as paddlers have done for all these years. I cannot warn you enough about the treacherous conditions around Cape Small and from there to the mouth of the Kennebec. Beware of a strong ebb tide with an opposing southwest wind, anything above 10 knots. Pemaquid is exposed, but pretty clean, and if you round it at any stage of the flood tide you should be fine. The Petit Manan Bar way down east is another spot that demands special attention. After having paddled the entire stretch around all the New England states and all Canadian maritime provinces during the past seven summers, a total of 4000 miles, it was a relief to get back home to Maine, and believe me, Maine still has the most beautiful and diverse coastline, closely rivaled by serene Prince Edward Island and harsh, unforgiving but awesome Nova Scotia.

The article by Reinhard Zollitsch in this issue of The Island Trail highlights several important warnings that all boaters should heed. The waters along the coast of Maine can be gentle and accommodating, or dangerous and unforgiving. Every year we get requests for information about traveling the entire Trail, mostly from sea kayakers but occasionally from other boaters. And every year we respond to say that, yes, some people travel the Trail from end-toend, but most choose just a small section of coast to explore. One of the problems with our name is that people think of a trail as a linear path, with a start and an end. The Maine Island Trail is not like that. MITA consists of islands where members have permission to land and either explore for the day or spend the night. The “Trail” is the act of linking them up, not an actual path. So, the length of the Trail depends on which way you pick to link up these islands. Reinhard’s path was shorter; other travelers may take a longer path. There are several dangerous and exposed sections along the trail. Of course, if the weather changes even a relatively safe area can be deadly. Reinhard has many years of experience as a solo traveler, and the excellent judgment to know how to pick a route. If you choose to travel the Trail be sure to pick a route that allows you a margin of safety given your party size and skills. – Dave Mention, MITA Trail Director


Cruising the Coast... (continued from cover)

A Few Words About Respectful Exploration Rocky shores, frigid waters, and thick fog have long served as a barrier to all but the most skilled and adventurous individuals seeking to access Maine’s islands. Thanks to innovations in technology, however, these natural obstacles are no longer as daunting as they once were. GPS especially has reduced the “fear factor” associated with island exploration. Because of increased recreational use, many island owners have requested that sailors, motor boaters, kayakers, and canoeists not land on their islands. It is no longer acceptable to gently use the shores of private islands in Maine to enhance your family’s exploration. For almost 20 years MITA has been working proactively with the state, private land owners, and land trusts to carefully manage public access so that everyone can experience the magic of the Maine coast. Gentle stewardship by each island user will allow our children to experience coastal Maine with their children and create their own memories.

– Peg Willauer-Tobey

The delivery part – tedious straight ahead sailing, no matter how fine or nasty the weather – was sure to provoke sibling squabbles, not to mention the occasional bout of seasickness. However, the wonder of the previous ten days of aimless cruising and island hopping more than made up for it. As a result of our yearly exploration of the coast, the islands of Maine permeate my imagination. In order to savor sailing with children, one has to connect with their innate sense of adventure. Our parents remembered how to explore, and enjoyed examining every nook and cranny we could find along the coast. Each day we’d walk around the shore of an island, skipping rocks, hunting mussels, singing to periwinkles, and disturbing crabs. Every evening at five o’clock or so, my sister, brother and I rowed our dinghy around the anchorage looking for sites inaccessible to larger boats. Often in the 8-foot dinghy we would haggle out the issues of the day. My parents strongly encouraged these end-of-day jaunts by us children, and now that I’m a parent myself I understand why. For parents, grabbing some “quiet time” now and then may be the most important secret to enjoying a family cruise on the coast of Maine. Each island has a story, which is another reason why kids love cruising the Maine coast. Damariscove Island has a terrific ghost story, and Outer Heron has a mysterious treasure story. Sometimes the stories we learned even had legitimate educational value.

Every evening, when planning our day, Mom read to us from the guidebook which was filled with coastal Maine history. Islands are also great places to generate your own family lore. Buckle Island gave birth to a family story that has been passed down to the next generation. One day, at my brother’s (and father’s) nap time, my parents deposited my sister and me to paint with watercolors on the island. We sat in the sunny woods among mosscovered trees. At some point we went for a walk on the center path, and as we followed the trail the woods became dense. Ahead there was a stand of mostly-dead small pine trees. The light couldn’t easily penetrate the tightly woven limbs. We turned a corner and in our path, wedged in-between two trees, there stood a closed door. The door was fully intact with a frame, hinges, and a door knob, waiting to be opened. We stopped. My sister recalls wondering, “A door – a door to what?” We turned and ran. My children have heard about The Door and have created their own stories imagining what might be on the other side. I have taught them to hunt mussels and sing to periwinkles. And we often send our kids out rowing in the dinghy, whenever my husband and I covet a moment of peace. In Maine, we can discover our unique coastline through exploration and time spent reconnecting with our childhood. With more than 150 islands and coastal sites available for access through the Trail, the tight confines of the boat become only a small part of the cruiser’s world. The adventures outside of the boat complete the experience.

The author (left) with brother Ben and Sister Tori on one of the Willauer Family’s many island adventures.


PARTNER PROFILE The Island Heritage Trust

By Nick Battista, MITA Summer Intern It is easy to forget that behind every private island on the Trail is an owner or group of owners who have consciously (and generously) decided to share access to their property with members. It is even easier to overlook the fact that in many cases, allowing island access is merely one of many activities these owners have undertaken to enrich Maine’s coastal communities and environment. The Island Heritage Trust (IHT) is a perfect example. In addition to placing Wreck, Round, and Millet islands on the Trail, the IHT is involved in numerous other initiatives to preserve the natural and scenic resources of Deer Isle for future generations. The Trust is as much about the people of Deer Isle as it is about the land. In fact, IHT could really be said to have three missions, according to executive director Mac Herrling. One is the preservation of unprotected property; the second is communication and outreach to the community; and the third is ongoing stewardship of the sites IHT already owns and manages.

The Trust also works closely with the elementary school through its “Adopt-a-Preserve” outreach program. The program exposes these children to the many ecologically and historically important properties on the island, with a goal of instilling a sense of stewardship in the next generation of island residents. Each class at the Deer Isle/Stonington Elementary School adopts a different preserve and visits it several times a year. Trust volunteers guide nature tours for the classes, visit the schools, and help the children to understand, observe, and record the cycles that island animals and plants undergo annually. Mac Herrling says that Adopt-aPreserve is one of the most popular programs the organization manages. “Kids get really excited about it, volunteers love it, and it helps IHT build stewards for the future,” he says. “The kids are astounded that all this land is free and open to everybody, that they can come and visit with their parents on a Saturday.” Familiarizing the children with their heritage is critical because “eventually

it will be these kids’ islands and this is their first opportunity to take ownership of it,” Mac comments. The Trust also sponsors “Walks and Talks” on protected lands that are open to the general public. The talks run from June through September and are given by IHT volunteers who have expertise that is relevant to the property. An archeologist, a geologist, a botanist, and an astronomer have all guided previous Walks and Talks. Last year, IHT gave a talk at Pine Hill and the surrounding acreage; nearly 50 people showed up to hear about the area’s interesting geology and rare lichens and to get a beautiful view of Eggemoggin Reach from the top of the hill. Mac says that over 500 people a year attend these various Walks and Talks, and he invites MITA members to come if they happen to be in the area.

Saving Shorelines

IHT’s biggest priority in land protection is to preserve access to the shoreline. Much of Deer Isle’s waterfront property been sold in small parcels and there is very little access to the beach. (continued on page 12)

Building Community

The Trust is a community-based organization, and one of its most important constituencies on Deer Isle is the fishing and lobstering community. The local lobstermen are on the water every day and care deeply about the islands in the area. If something is amiss on one of the islands, they notice it and alert the IHT. Some lobstering families have been using the Merchants Row islands for many generations. Because the islands represent part of their heritage and tradition, these families are among the most dedicated and motivated stewards of these fragile places. Their concern was on display at a fundraiser IHT conducted in 2004 to help restore a building on Mark Island, where donations helped IHT reach its fundraising target and begin work on the restoration.

Forester Max McCormack leads one of the many “Walks and Talks” hosted by IHT each summer. 9

Coastal Partners Unite to Protect Four Trail Islands Hungry, Russ, Black, and Campbell Change Hands

Heritage Trust, will continue to hold its current conservation easement on Campbell Island. (We profile the IHT in a separate article on page 9.) “We were delighted to work in partnership to assure the permanent conservation of these fantastic islands” notes Jay Espy, President of Maine Coast Heritage Trust. “Anytime we can preserve entire islands and appropriate public access it’s a great benefit to current and future generations of Maine people.” The

Credit: Richard Anderson

Some of the most pristine island real estate on the entire coast of Maine is changing hands. But in a heartening departure from the usual storyline, the upshot won’t be new homes, a resort, or any of the other development projects that typically follow such a transfer. Instead, thanks to the combined efforts of several nonprofit organizations, the properties will remain pretty much as we know them—incredibly scenic and available for access by the boating public.

A view from the summit of Russ Island, one of four Trail sites permanently protected under a purchase agreement.

The islands in question are undoubtedly some of the Maine coast’s most prized jewels—Hungry and Black Islands in Muscongus Bay, as well as Russ and Campbell Islands off Deer Isle. They have been purchased from the Island Institute in a joint project involving both the Chewonki Foundation, the Wiscassetbased outdoor education school, and the Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT), a statewide land trust based in Topsham. Chewonki now owns the four islands and will be using them for low-impact camping and other activities associated with their experiential learning programs. MCHT holds conservation easements over three of the four properties, while another land trust, Island 10

easements permanently bar almost all development and assure that the properties will remain available for low-impact public use. That, of course, is where MITA comes into the picture.

Specifying Our Role

As many members well know, the islands are all currently on the Maine Island Trail and have had MITA-managed access since the early 1990s. The three partners are now talking about how to continue the MITA tradition of stewardship and responsible recreation at these important Trail sites. “There’s no question that the MITA presence on these islands has been beneficial and we want to maintain

it going forward,” says Chewonki President Don Hudson. “The only issue is what will the presence look like, and that’s what we’re all talking about now. The discussions have been very constructive and positive.” All parties agree that the sites will continue to be part of the Trail and that low-impact public access will be welcomed. As MITA Board Member Jeremy Wintersteen explains, however, MITA is exploring this as an opportunity to upgrade the informal agreements we have typically had with island owners to something more enduring. “Handshake agreements with island owners have served us very well for nearly twenty years,” Wintersteen says. “They’ve allowed us to build the Trail into what it is today.” Still, he adds, “when you have property changing hands from one generation to the next, or from one owner to another, you can’t always guarantee that the new owner is going to know MITA and allow us to maintain and manage access. So this is an opportunity to ask ourselves, ‘Can we expand on these agreements that have been so successful and make them into something permanent?’” It’s all part of a larger movement in which a growing number of Maine property owners—bucking the trend toward exclusivity—agree to share their lands with respectful visitors. “In this day and age of no trespassing signs and gates, this Maine generosity is unique,” Wintersteen observes. “MITA’s role is to be the interface between the landowner and the visitor and help it continue into the future.”

Conservation and Access Partnerships

To achieve this objective, says Wintersteen, MITA now contemplates partnering with other organizations and landowners when opportunities arise on island real estate. The goal would be to secure easements that would assure permanent access for MITA visitors.

Wintersteen says that negotiating He adds that on an island like access easements is a desirable Hungry, whose 140 interior acres alternative to purchasing land are largely inaccessible due to blow outright. “Buying property is still downs and overgrowth on the paths, something we would do only as a a stronger working relationship last resort, because it’s expensive and with MITA will have very positive because it’s not our core competency,” implications for visitors. he says. He notes that we already “That’s a place where we can make have fantastic partners—such as some minor improvements, like Chewonki, Maine Coast Heritage opening up the paths and finding a Trust, and Portland Trails, among fresh water supply, that will have a many others—who have much more big impact on the visitor experience,” experience as landowners and in he says. negotiating and financing land deals. There will certainly be plenty of “My view is that we should be stewardship work to coordinate over proactive in trying to marry our the coming months, but Hudson is expertise and experience in access and not daunted. Even with Chewonki stewardship with now sharing five of real estate protection Exploring the purchase its island properties efforts,” Wintersteen in the Trail system of easements that comments. “The (Castle Island in would assure Maine coast is one Hockomock Bay is of the most beautiful the fifth Chewonki permanent access places in the world, island on the to MITA visitors. and we should Trail), Hudson pool our efforts to says he is already help keep it that way. Whether it’s looking ahead to new collaborative land protection, commercial fishing, opportunities. public access, working waterfronts, or “We’re considering other sites on outdoor recreation, there are creative the coast and studying with [MITA ways out there for partnerships that Trail Director] Dave Mention whether can create a win-win for everyone and they’d be appropriate for MITA use,” the State of Maine.” Hudson says. “It’s a great partnership with a bright future ahead of us.”

Next Steps

As Chewonki, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, the Island Heritage Trust, and MITA continue to work on permanent roles and responsibilities for these islands, Chewonki’s Hudson notes that the organizations are already talking about elements to include in a recreational management plan for the islands, which will be developed over the winter.

MITA’s committed corps of stewards is part of what makes us an attractive partner for island landowners like Chewonki. If you would like to volunteer as an Island Adopter, a Monitor Skipper, or in some other capacity for the organization, please contact Brian Marcaurelle, brian@mita. org or 207-761-8225.

BASIN SHOREFRONT PROTECTED BY DONATION A visit to the Basin can be a surprisingly rich voyage of discovery. Located in the southern midcoast, this secluded saltwater pond feels a world away from the wide New Meadows River, from which it is accessed though a narrow inlet. A Trail island sits in the middle of this unique sanctuary, its campsites an inviting place to contemplate the beauty of the surrounding shorelines. The Basin’s appeal would certainly have suffered if those shorelines, which are largely undeveloped, had been sold off to builders. But now that threat, which had been looming like a black cloud for decades, has dissipated, thanks to a record donation of land by a local property owner. In a recent press conference, The Nature Conservancy of Maine revealed that the property owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, donated over 1,910 acres of riverfront land to the organization, which plans to preserve it for wildlife conservation and recreational activities. The parcel, which stretches from the New Meadows all the way to the Kennebec, comprises large tracts of forest, a mountain, and several ridges. It also includes nearly four miles of shore frontage surrounding the Basin. Basin Island, the idyllic Trail site, was previously unclaimed and therefore under state control. However, since Basin is barred to the mainland at low tide, the island is in fact part of the land parcel donated to the The Nature Conservancy, which has assumed ownership of it. The Nature Conservancy has declared that Basin Island will remain open for public access as part of the Trail system. MITA would like to add its voice to the chorus of praise for the anonymous donor. Especially in a region that will experience immense development pressure in the coming years, open space has a value well beyond its worth in dollars. 11

Partner Profile... (continued from page 9) Through its land protection efforts, IHT provides access to the Causeway and Reach beaches, the Barred Islands, and guarantees access to the water for all. The Trust’s most recent achievement is the Campaign for the Gateway, a year-and-a-halflong capital campaign to buy four properties being offered for sale to developers near the Deer Isle causeway between Little Deer Isle and Deer Isle. The Trust is very proud of members and the generous donors who made the campaign possible. The 44-acre preserve not only protects the scenic gateway to Deer Isle, both from Route 15 and from the water, but also provides a significant amount of open space in the area. The land is open to clammers, picnickers, swimmers, and kayakers, while safeguarding the critically important shallow cove habitat. The acquisition of the largest parcel also protects the historically important ferry crossing and the ferry keeper’s house, which had been in the same family since 1782. The Trust raised over $650,000 in grants and private donations to help purchase these properties. It notes this fund raising effort would not have been possible without a partnership with the Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT). Throughout the capital campaign, the IHT looked to MCHT for support, help raising money, technical knowledge and general advice. The IHT Board of Trustees believes it is important to partner with organizations like MCHT and MITA because both organizations provide IHT with new and useful resources. It was an easy decision for IHT’s board to partner with MITA because of the monitoring, stewardship, and public contact MITA offers. In addition to volunteers, IHT looks to MITA to provide a model for stewardship and responsible use of the islands.

Strengthening Our Relationship

One of the benefits of partnering with MITA is the professionalism and reliability of the organization, 12

according to IHT. They believe that MITA’s presence on the water affords us a good perspective on the activity taking place on the islands. Another advantage is that it raises IHT’s visibility and connects them to a different community of island stewards. A number of new IHT members have been introduced to the organization through MITA. Though only about three years old, the collaboration between IHT and MITA is off to a strong start. What can MITA members do to support the alliance with IHT and further our shared goal of protecting Maine’s island heritage? Mac Herrling encourages anyone visiting the Deer Isle area to stop by and patronize the local businesses. He also invites members to stop by the IHT office and say hello. “Get to know the people,” says Mac, “particularly the lobstermen, and anybody who earns their living off the sea. These are the people who make this thing go.” The IHT office is located at 3 Main Street in downtown Deer Isle. More information is available on their website, www.

Spencer Earns Emerson Award Anyone who has visited one of the 60 state-owned public island and mainland sites on Trail can appreciate the hard work of Steve Spencer, Recreational Specialist at the Bureau of Parks and Lands. The State of Maine’s unflagging commitment to the Trail and its users has been due in no small part to Steve, who was a very early proponent of the Trail and has served as MITA’s liaison and champion at the Bureau for nearly two decades. In recognition of Steve’s unique and enduring contributions to the Trail, MITA was pleased to present him with our highest honor, the Margaret C. Emerson Stewardship Award, at our Annual Stewardship Party in Rockport. We hope members will join us in thanking Steve and his colleagues at the BPL for their support of MITA and the Trail. It’s a terrific partnership that will continue to strengthen and grow as the Trail expands. Congratulations Steve – your are a gifted public servant and a true friend of the Trail!

WORTHY AWARD WINNERS “Your Road Service at Sea”®


The Island Trail welcomes article submissions on boating tips and techniques, island trips, the coastal environment and wildlife, and other topics that are of interest to MITA members. For more information or to submit an article, contact Kevin Lomangino, or 207-799-6530.

The following volunteers also received much deserved accolades at the Stewardship Party: Adopter Award Rit Roberts Clean-up Award Jon & Charlotte Lawton Monitor Award Bill Mozak Office Support Award Meg Miller Outreach Award Mike Scarborough Most Valuable Partner Bob Haskell, Kennebunkport Conservation Trust

Making Connections By Tony Jessen, MITA Board Chair There is never enough time for a non-profit. Between fundraising, program management and strategic planning for the future, the schedule is always filled. And with so much important work to be done, it is hard to find the time just to talk and network with fellow non-profits in the local area. Occasionally, however, the right set of circumstances—in this case, a beautiful September afternoon and an invitation to cruise Casco Bay aboard MITA Executive Director Karen Stimpson’s classic 1927 New York Consolidated commuter yacht, Juniata—can arise to make such a gathering happen. In attendance for the meeting were, in no particular order: Ted Regan, founding President and current Director of Advancement for Ripple Effect; Chris Robinson, current Board President of Ripple Effect and founder of Sail Maine; Nico Walsh, past President and long time Board Member of Friends of Casco Bay, and his wife Ellen; Lew Incze, Director of the Aquatic Systems Group at the University of Southern Maine (USM); and myself and Karen representing MITA. We spent some time at the slip at Chandler’s Wharf talking about our respective organizations and current events happening there. Did you know that Ripple Effect, a community-based youth development organization specializing in adventure and wilderness experiences, hosted over 600 area kids on Cow Island this summer? Did you know that Sail Maine, which promotes community sailing through youth sailing instruction and adult sailing programs, has 90+ sailing dinghies and nine area high schools sailing out of Portland’s East End? Did you know that USM has made a commitment to marine education through the development of the Aquatic Systems Group and partnership with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute? Of course Karen mentioned MITA’s addition of 19 island and mainland sites to the Trail in 2006, bringing our total to 156. A very interesting discussion!

Our next stop was Cow Island, the hub of operations for Ripple Effect, where Ted Regan took us on a tour. You may have noticed a sturdy new dock Ripple Effect installed on the western end of the island. We began there and reviewed the adjacent WW II bunker that is now an activity

The Jessens aboard Juniata.

center with stunning views to the west. We walked across the island to see the main tent site. The tents are sited on platforms built for minimum environmental impact. Further down island there are composting toilets housed in an environmentally engineered building named for a benefactor— “the Hagge Hopper.” In the middle of the island there is a zip line. We will be back to ride that!


This ambitious operation is quickly becoming an institutionalized service for area kids. I highly recommend speaking with Ted if you would like more information. Make sure you budget some time, though—his boundless enthusiasm will keep you for a while! The organizations represented by this group of people contribute a great deal to our community. There are many more organizations within a 50-mile radius working in related spheres. If we can get to know one another and keep in touch on a regular basis, it strengthens all of our foundations. There may be opportunities to share fixed expense resources, like office space. At times there could be strength in numbers or coordination when fundraising. Certainly it is great to have a resource with specialized expertise to call on when you need it. We finished the evening with a nice meal and a table for ten. The restaurant was loud but our conversation was lively. I encourage all of you to keep your eyes and ears open and look for opportunities to make connections.

16-18 8-11, 2007


What Not to Do with Old Guidebooks

Thank you Nick! MITA’s summer intern Nick Battista is seen here posting a new sign on Crow Island in Muscongus Bay. A hard worker and skilled boatsman, Nick was an invaluable addition to the MITA team in 2006. Nick helped with island cleanups, Trail work projects, and in the office while completing a summer-long research project on conservation easements. His profile of the Island Heritage Trust appears on page 9 of this issue. His insights and commitment to the islands were indispensable in helping our summer stewardship efforts succeed. The staff was sorry to see Nick’s time with MITA come to an end in the fall, but we wish him the best in his pursuits at the Roger Williams University School of Law.

Most of us rebel against the idea of destroying a book. But when it comes to old MITA Guidebooks, the best thing members can do is tear off the cover and toss them in the recycling bin. We realize this can be difficult. After all, even the rattiest dogeared paperback can be donated to the library book sale. Knowledge and ideas should be passed along, we tell ourselves, and not simply thrown away because we’ve run out of room on our bookshelves. MITA Guidebooks, however, are different. MITA pledges to private island owners that only MITA members, who have demonstrated their commitment to responsible use of island properties by joining the organization, will have access to the information contained in the Guidebook. When Guidebooks get passed along to non-members, it raises the possibility that uninformed and potentially unrespectful users will access privately owned Trail sites. This jeopardizes our relationships with Trail island owners and puts future access to these properties at risk. What’s more, old Guidebooks contain outdated information that can be a danger to critical wildlife


With the holidays upon us, remember that a gift membership to MITA is a great way to share the magic of the islands with a family member or loved one. Purchasing a gift membership is easy and takes only a few moments. Log onto our website at and click on the Join MITA button. Then click the option for “gift” when filling out the online membership form. Or call the office at 207-761-8225 to place your order by phone. 14

habitat. Some islands or campsites are closed to Trail visitors because of bird nesting or other activity that human contact would disturb. But those with old Guidebooks may not know this, and can easily stumble into areas that should be protected. The circulation of outdated Guidebooks is a real and ongoing problem. We have received several calls from public libraries wishing to replace old copies of Guidebooks that have been donated. Guidebooks also show up in used bookstores, where anybody can take home a copy without making any contribution to the stewardship and maintenance of the Trail system. MITA understands that many members do not want or need a copy of the Guidebook every year because they no longer get out on the water. If you fall into this category of member, you can choose not to receive a new edition by indicating so on your 2007 renewal package. Otherwise, the safest thing to do with your old Guidebooks is to throw them in the recycling. Although it may feel taboo to do this, rest assured that you are acting in best interests of MITA, the islands, and the larger Trail community.

No Building Around the Basin Thanks to a record donation of property to The Nature Conservancy of Maine, approximately four miles of shorefront surrounding Basin Island will be protected from development. See page 11 for details about this important new conservation agreement.

Basin Island off the New Meadows River.

MITA Pioneers Remembered MITA mourns the passing of two Trail pioneers whose contributions helped launch the Trail and served as a model for other private landowners wishing to share their wild and beautiful places on the coast of Maine. Though their warmth and personality will be missed, their generosity lives on in the form of continued MITA access to their islands.

Edward W. Emerson

Ed demonstrated his tremendous foresight and courage by becoming the first private landowner to place an island on the Maine Island Trail. His great leap of faith was rewarded as dozens of other property owners followed his example and helped nurture the thriving Trail system that exists today. He died on August 21, 2006, in Camden at the age of 86. He was the great-grandson of the poet and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson. Ed led a full and adventurous life that included service as a captain in the Merchant Marine throughout World War II. Ed operated several maritime-related businesses during his lifetime, and in 1970 he started a firewood operation on his land in Camden. He ran his firewood mill continuously up to the time of his death, only recently relinquishing the use of his chainsaw to those of younger years. He was preceded in death by his wife Marga in 1993, who was inspiration and namesake for MITA’s Margaret C. Emerson Stewardship Award. This is MITA’s highest honor, which is bestowed annually on upon an exceptional volunteer. He is survived by his children, Tom Emerson of Merida, Mexico, Ted Emerson and his wife Ava of Brownsville, VT., Tim Emerson and his wife Kathy of Stonington, Mary Emerson of Jaffrey, NH, and David Emerson of Nokesville, VA.; eight grandchildren; and four greatgrandchildren.

Anthony Faunce Tony, owner of Monroe Island near Owl’s Head, was known as both an accomplished businessman and a visionary conservationist. In 1973, long before such agreements were in vogue, he donated a conservation easement protecting most of Monroe’s 225 acres to the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. He then continued his characteristic generosity by becoming one of the first private property owners to allow MITA access via the then-nascent Trail. Tony died on May 26, 2006, at the age of 90. Tony’s service to society took many forms, including contributions to military, business community, government, and civic groups. After graduating from Harvard University in the class of 1937, he served in the Navy during World War II with a ship command in the Pacific. He was a senior partner of John C. Paige and Co., a national insurance brokerage firm, and also served as assistant secretary of state: inspector general of foreign assistance. On Monroe he was dedicated to conserving the natural splendor of the island. He dug several springfed ponds to encourage greater biodiversity on the property. He also recently donated a new, more restrictive conservation easement to the Maine Coast Heritage Trust that would further limit development on the island to a single two-acre parcel. He was happy to share Monroe’s bounty with those who were committed to respecting it. Tony married Mary Gill in 1947, who predeceased him in 1977. He is survived by his four daughters, Amy Faunce of Camden, Jeannette Faunce and her husband Jamie Oates of Belmont, Jessena Hayward and her husband Douglas Hayward of Rockport and Sandra Faunce and her husband David Lafreniere of Lincolnville and several grandchildren.

Boats Make Great Donations You already know that MITA is a cause worth supporting, but you may not have considered the tax benefits that you stand to reap from donating your vessel to a non-profit. Especially if you are in a highincome tax bracket, the impact on your next return could be significant. (And just think about all those maintenance headaches that will now be someone else’s problem!) Another advantage of donating to MITA is that we now have a dedicated, expert-run program to handle all aspects of these transactions—from your initial inquiry right through to the closing. Not only can we provide a very quick evaluation and response to your offer anywhere in the Northeast, but we can also provide some ideas for how to maximize your financial gain from the deal. This kind of know-how is critical for high-value yachts that may have substantial tax-reducing implications. Our expertise in this area comes through a partnership with Block Island Maritime Funding, Inc., which administrates the boat donation program. The principals at Block Island have extensive experience with pleasure yachts and possess some 100 years of combined marine know-how. This gives you confidence to know that your generous offer will be handled professionally and with the highest possible return both to you and to MITA’s stewardship programs. Time is running out to take advantage of these benefits in the current tax year. It only takes a phone call or email to get started making your donation (and deduction!). Contact MITA for details or call Block Island Maritime Funding directly at (401) 842-0752.


Wish List

MITA is always willing to consider donations of anything from boats and vehicles to office equipment. Please call us at 207761-8225 or email if you would like to donate these or other items. STEWARDSHIP SUPPLIES • Working handheld VHF radios • Walkie Talkies • Buoyant boat cushions • Danforth anchors (8 lb or smaller) • Adult-sized raingear (to be used as spare foul weather gear) • 30” bow saw • Dry bags • Camping cookset (pots, pans, plates, cups, etc) • Fishing/landing nets for workboats (to retrieve floating trash) • Sharpening stone for hatchet/tools • Tarps (all sizes) • Screen Tent (for Jewell Island Caretaker) • Field guides to ecology of the Northeast BOATS & MOTORS • Boats (sailboats, powerboats, dinghies, kayaks, etc.) of any size in seaworthy condition • 25-40 HP 4-stroke motor for caretaker boat • 5 HP long-shaft outboard motors (kickers for MITA workboats) OFFICE SUPPLIES & TECHNOLOGY • Adobe Indesign software for PC • Electric letter folder SERVICES • Sponsorship of Annual Meeting/Stewardship Party • Volunteer office help • Volunteer for on-line research out-of-office • Volunteer for outreach booth staffing

‘Trashfinder’ For several years, MITA has been using a stalwart 1988 Ford F-150 pickup, generously donated by Bob and Marietta Ramsdell, to tow boats, haul trash from the islands, and get outreach supplies to conferences and trade shows. But as the Trail expands and MITA’s presence on the coast broadens, our transport needs also grow, and the staff decided that a newer, more fuel-efficient vehicle that met MITA’s towing and cleanup requirements should be sought. Enter Rodger and Jillian Herrigel and family, who graciously handed over the keys to their reliable 1995 Nissan Pathfinder this past summer. In just a few short months the Pathfinder has proven to be a tremendous asset to the organization. Her first MITA assignment was the September down east cleanup where she not only



Association 58 Fore Street, Bldg. 30, 3rd Floor PORTLAND, ME 04101

lived up to expectations but also acquired her new nickname—the “Trashfinder.” Our sincere thanks to the Herrigel family and to all MITA donors for keeping our stewardship efforts truckin’ on. Anyone looking for additional ways to contribute should please refer to the MITA Wish List on this page–all items on the list represent important ongoing needs for the organization.




Winter 2006  

Contains reflections from Vinny, the longtime Jewell Island caretaker, on his four summers on the island and an interesting profile on the I...

Winter 2006  

Contains reflections from Vinny, the longtime Jewell Island caretaker, on his four summers on the island and an interesting profile on the I...