Conserved as part of a larger effort to protect Maine’s beautiful coastline, Head of Estuaries is a wetland that started the Mason Bay Conservation Area, a group of conservation projects that includes 260 acres of freshwater and inner tidal wetlands, as well as 630 acres of uplands, protecting more than 5.5 miles of saltwater shore frontage and 1.4 miles of streams.
The project conserves long stretches of shorefront, which allows shorebirds, waterfowl, and wading birds —species that are sensitive to disturbance — to nest and thrive, and also provides other species a rich habitat: a continuous tract of protected land. The area also enables shorebirds to rest and put on weight before they embark on their long southerly migration journeys back to their wintering grounds in the late summer.
Additionally, Head of Estuaries contains a lively woodcock population, which arrive back to Maine starting in early spring, due to its proximity to the shoreline, which makes the land less likely to freeze in the winter—woodcocks must probe the earth to feed. It also bolsters food webs that give fodder to marine-based livelihoods. In addition to the home it provides for diverse species populations, Head of Estuaries also offers flooding protection, and its conservation helps mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.
Head of Estuaries has many parcels in Jonesboro and Addision. Those parcels include:
- 29-acre Meadow Brook-Kennedy parcel in Jonesport
- 160-acre Boncore parcel in Jonesboro
- 80-acre Cormo & Bernstein parcel in Jonesboro
- 5-acre Rowse parcel in Jonesport
Closest Town: Jonesboro, Jonesport, Washington County
Activities: Paddling, Canoeing, Kayaking, Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing, Hiking, Bird Watching, Wildlife Watching, Nesting Seabirds
Acreage: 416 (total for all parcels listed above and others included in the Head of Estuaries project)
Directions: From Jonesboro: From US Route 1, turn onto Route 187 (Jonesport Road), which then turns into Mason Bay Road. Follow Mason Bay Road until you reach Flake Point Road on your left. Turn left and follow Flake Point Road until you reach Flake Point Bar, a great place to access Mason Bay.