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Thriving Natural Environment

We seek refuge and recreation in forests, fields and coastal areas, and many of us have livelihoods that depend upon their continued health. Undeveloped areas house essential species of native plants and animals which rely upon each other in complex ways. Forests, grasslands, salt marshes, estuaries, and kelp beds are all important components in the work to decrease the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We must take steps to conserve, restore, and steward these essential ecosystems.


Our state’s natural and working lands play an important role in capturing carbon and helping slow the pace of global warming. In line with the state’s goal to increase total acreage of conserved lands to 30% by 2030, municipalities and land trusts are stepping up land protection efforts. Permanent protection for natural lands and waters will sequester carbon, support biodiversity, insulate us against severe weather and sea level rise, and protect the health of our community as it continues to grow.

Aside from conserving land, it is also essential that we adopt evidence-based policies and practices for land use and development, so that we ensure the continued vitality of our environment. Clear steps can be taken—by Town government, community stakeholders, and private citizens—to identify our carbon sequestration capacity, increase our mature tree canopy, restore the ecological function of our rivers, prioritize habitat corridors, reduce invasive species, and allow for marsh migration over time.

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The Cousins River Fields and Marsh Preserve is an 82-acre property that was recently acquired by Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) in partnership with the Freeport Conservation Trust (FCT) and the Royal River Conservation Trust (RRCT), with support from the Town of Yarmouth. This project is a great example of the success that can happen when conservation groups come together to protect land critical to mitigating the effects of climate change. And thanks to previous years of extensive conservation work, this addition creates a 220-acre conserved marsh system that will be critical to buffering sea level rise and mitigating other effects of climate change.


  • • In 2019, Yarmouth completed an Open Space Plan, which provides a well-considered list of suggested actions for the mindful use and protection of open space. Much of this plan has yet to be implemented.

  • In 2022, the Tree Advisory Committee was formed to promote the conservation and stewardship of trees on town lands.

  • Between 2021 and 2022, 95 acres of town land were treated for invasive species.

  • In 2023, the Tree Advisory Committee spearheaded a new initiative to restore riparian areas in Royal River Park.

Our action plan

The Climate Action Plan has goals, strategies, and actions that guide us to protect our valuable lands and waters and support our community to steward our environment.

Be part of the solution.

Get all the info you need to manage your lawn and garden sustainably..

Consider enrolling your natural or working lands in Maine’s current use tax program.

The Town and Yarmouth Community Services offers support in choosing and planting a free tree for the right of way close to your home.

Consider establishing a conservation easement on your land. 

Learn more about supporting native plants and animals. 

Help protect our waterways by reducing runoff and flooding.

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