Outer Islands slated for extra Protection

WASHINGTON D.C. — U.S. Representative Mike Michaud has introduced a bill affecting Little Marshall Island and John’s Island (as part of the town of Swans Island) designating the land as part of a National Wilderness Preservation System along with 13 other islands along the Maine coastline.

The Maine Coastal Islands Wilderness Act of 2011 was developed to preserve and conserve the islands while still encouraging public access.

Although the islands are already protected under the Coastal Maine island permanent protection of 1994 when federal, state and local conservation partners worked together to protect the islands, mostly as delicate nesting habitats for seabirds. The Maine Coastal Islands Wilderness Act of 2011 suggests added protections plus plans to encourage tourism.

“This designation will help to further elevate the profile of these unique coastal islands and boost tourism in Maine,” said Rep. Michaud in a press release. “In addition, it will benefit the current efforts to restore and preserve this critical wildlife habitat for future generations to enjoy.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which already manages the islands, will continue to do so under the new legislation.

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