Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Program
M/T Julie N Fuel Oil and Diesel Spill
United States of America
Affected DOI Resources:
To compensate for injuries and interim losses sustained by marine birds, the Julie N Oil Spill Natural Resource Trustees transferred $50,000 in settlement funds to the non-profit Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) towards the purchase of a perpetual conservation easement on the 75-acre Ragged Island that is located in Casco Bay in the Town of Harpswell, Maine.
Ragged Island has been identified as a nationally significant nesting island recommended by state and federal agencies for permanent protection. This island provides important migratory, foraging, and roosting habitat for shorebirds and wading birds, as well as wintering habitat for purple sandpiper, black duck, common eider and other waterfowl. Ragged Island also provides important habitat for nesting guillemots, osprey, and Canada geese. It is one of the most important nesting eider islands in coastal Maine – important because of the high number of nesting birds and the remote four-mile offshore location that minimizes potential for disturbance by recreational users and limits potential for mammalian predators to reach the island.
The conservation easement to be held by MCHT is “intended to provide a significant public benefit by protecting and preserving in perpetuity (a) the natural and undeveloped character of the Protected Property, including its significant habitat for colonial nesting seabirds, especially common eiders, future potential habitat for eagles and endangered, threatened or rare species, (b) the scenic character of the Protected Property when viewed from Casco Bay, and (c) the opportunity for low-impact outdoor recreation on the northeastern point that is not currently utilized by colonial nesting seabirds.” The conservation easement will address the revised Restoration Plan strategy presented by the Trustees to conserve and protect habitat for nesting seabirds in the Casco Bay area.
Maine Coast Heritage Trust
Fish and Wildlife Service
An aerial view of Ragged Island in Casco Bay., Credit: USFWS