The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Posts tagged beach

  • Southern Maine Beach Sands

    | February 21, 2018 | Filed under: Program Reports

    We recorded Dr. Jon Dykstra's talk in February 2018: A Brief Geological History of the Sands Along Southern Maine's Beaches.

  • Wing'd XXXIX: Plovers and Terns 2017

    | August 16, 2017 | Filed under: Observations

    Piping plovers start four nests on Laudholm Beach in 2017, but only one is successful.

  • Public Shoreline Access in Maine

    | September 21, 2016

    Cover image for Public Shoreline Access in MaineThroughout much of my professional life, I have been involved in various issues related to coastal conservation and public access. My activities have included:

    • The Practical — acquisition of lands along the coast that provide direct access for residents and visitors, and that protect wildlife habitat
    • The Educational — organizing forums, lectures, and workshops that explore legal and policy issues relating to coastal ownership, use, and access
    • Writing and Publishing — most recently, co-editing the 3-volume Maine Coastal Public Access Guide

    So it was only natural that the Wells Reserve (and yours truly) would team up with University of Maine Sea Grant and the Maine Coastal Program to revise and publish Public Shoreline Access in Maine: A Citizen’s Guide to Ocean and Coastal Law.

    This concise, full color guide, just released, is a summary and analysis of the laws, policies, and court decisions that have helped define ownership of, and public access to, Maine’s coast.

    Download Public Shoreline Access in Maine: A Citizen's Guide to Ocean and Coastal Law (6 MB)

  • Consternation Over Canines

    | June 4, 2015

    Sign post stating 'No dogs allowed at any time

    The reserve has a no-pets policy. It may be our least popular restriction. From Rules for Public Use of Wells Reserve:

    (G)(3)(a): With the exception of seeing-eye dogs, domestic pets are prohibited from the Reserve.

    By and large, visitors respect this rule. Occasionally, we see a wandering cat, a "lost" bunny, or a loose or leashed dog on the property, but after a couple of decades living with the ban almost everybody leaves their pet at home when they come to enjoy nature at the reserve.

    The commonest breach — and potentially the most consequential — is the owner who frees a dog on Laudholm Beach. It happened just this morning and didn't go unnoticed.

  • Finding Common Ground on Maine's Beaches

    | November 3, 2014

    Drakes Island beach scenceIn 1989, after a few years away, my wife and I moved back to Maine. Just a few months earlier, the Maine Supreme Court had handed down its “Moody Beach decision,” confining public use of privately owned beach property to the colonial era’s permitted uses of “fishing, fowling and navigation.” As someone with a profound love for the Maine coast, I read the court’s decision with great personal and professional interest.

    For most of my career, I have worked to conserve special places in Maine — to protect natural resources and to provide the public with access to the coast. Realizing that 2014 would mark 25 years since “Moody,” I organized a public lecture series so people could better understand and appreciate the legal issues surrounding public access and private ownership of coastal lands.

    This summer and fall the Reserve hosted four evenings that involved all the key players from “Moody” and subsequent court cases dealing with coastal access in Maine. Each time, we filled the auditorium to capacity.

    It was a great experience for all of us. Together we learned that Maine is not an anomaly; other states have access conflicts and must also contend with legal ambiguities over shoreline use and ownership.

  • A Day at the Beach (Lecture)

    | July 24, 2014

    John Duff provides an overview of legal cases pertaining to Maine beach accessThe weather on July 23 was warm and muggy — a perfect day for a swim at the shore. But rather than head to one of the many lovely sand beaches of York County, some 90 people packed Mather Auditorium to learn about legal issues surrounding ownership, use, and access to the shore.

    Attendees heard lively presentations from two attorneys who have extensive knowledge of the subject. John Duff, a law professor and attorney, led with an informative (and sometimes humorous) analysis and explanation of all of the court cases since Moody that have affected use and ownership of Maine's shoreline.

  • The Sandy Dialogues: Takeaways from New Jersey

    Wells Reserve Contributor | June 23, 2014

    Coastal destruction after Hurricane SandyDown in sunny Tuckerton, New Jersey, a contingent of coastal Maine residents and Wells Reserve associates heard firsthand the accounts of locals affected by Hurricane Sandy. The meeting was designed to be an exchange of experiences and suggestions in regard to storm preparedness and coastal resilience. The discussion was geared toward vulnerable areas in Maine, specifically Drakes Island and the Saco-Biddeford area, both of which sent representatives down to NJ. The trip included dinner at a restaurant damaged by Sandy, a few tours of destroyed coastal communities, and an informative panel discussion with residents and municipal officials involved in the recovery efforts.

  • Wells Reserve Featured in Coastal Access Guide

    | March 21, 2014

    A human shadow stretches over the salt marsh.Pick up three handy guides to the Maine coast and you'll always know where to access sandy beaches, nature areas, hiking paths, and boat launches as you travel the state's 5,300+ miles of shoreline. Each Maine Coastal Public Access Guide — there are separate editions for southern, midcoast, and downeast Maine — gives driving directions along with details on what to expect for parking, facilities, and amenities. Natural features and cultural highlights for more than 700 sites are described in the series, which was published in 2013 by the Maine Coastal Program, with significant involvement by the reserve.

  • I'm a Plover, Not a Fighter

    | July 28, 2013 | Filed under: Opinion

    A defenseless nest, an unleashed dog, and in twenty seconds, tragedy.

  • Climate Change is a Beach

    | July 21, 2013

    a line in the sand

    The following was originally published in the Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune Sunday edition, 7/21/13.

    In Maine, we’re continually blessed with nature’s beauty and its bounty. Our forests, our Gulf, and our thousands of miles of rocky and sandy coast are major drivers of our economy and the envy of the Northeast. Our summer population quadruples because, “yes, life’s good here,” thanks in large part to our environment.

    But science indisputably tells us that the Maine we know is not the Maine that has always been, or will be. Even our rich cultural history is but a millisecond in our environment’s life.

    If our accustomed way of life was, climatologically-speaking, born on third base, should we be blamed for thinking we’d hit a triple? What if instead of playing baseball, we’ve been surfing a wave that must, as all waves do, break?