Permanent working waterfront access protection through the purchase of development rights
The Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR), working with the Land for Maine's Future (LMF) program, provides funds to help purchase development rights in order to preserve and protect key properties on the coast that provide access to and support commercial fisheries activities. The DMR has contracted a Working Waterfront Team at Coastal Enterprises Inc (CEI) to administer and implement the Working Waterfront Access Protection Program (WWAPP). The Team works closely with fishermen, businesses, communities and other interested parties to identify the projects that best fit the WWAPP's goals and requirements. The Team also guides the planning and application process to help assure that applicants submit a complete and appropriate proposal. Once a project has been allocated funding by the Land for Maine's Future Board, the Team continues to assist each project to completion.
When a project receives funding, the working waterfront property's development rights are extinguished through the sale of a working waterfront covenant, a legally binding deed restriction held by the Department of Marine Resources. The covenant protects all current and future fisheries related uses of the land by prohibiting all conflicting non-fisheries activities (i.e. condos, marinas, restaurants). The covenant does allow a degree of mixed uses that are compatible with the primary fisheries use and provides the property owner with the flexibility to manage the property as needed to remain financially viable. The property owner also retains all other rights of ownership; that is, they are free to sell or lease. If and when the property owner chooses to sell the property, the State has a "right of first refusal" to assure that the land will be valued at its working waterfront value and thus remain affordable to those who would purchase it with the intent to continue commercial fishing activities.
There are certain criteria that DMR is looking for in potential projects. Every application is judged by a quantitative assessment of how it fairs within the context of five criteria. A highly scored project is one that is:
Additionally, DMR is seeking individuals, businesses, coops, or communities that are:
For further information or to submit an application, please contact:
Dick Clime, WWAPP Administrator, for Lincoln, Knox, Waldo, Hancock, or Washington Counties. Coastal Enterprises Inc., P.O. Box 268, Wiscasset, ME 04578, tel. 207-535-5191, .
Hugh Cowperthwaite, WWAPP Supervisor, for York, Cumberland, and Sagadahoc Counties. Coastal Enterprises Inc., 2 Portland Fish Pier, Suite 206, Portland, ME 04101, tel. 207-535-2920, .