Acadia recognized as national leader on climate-smart restoration

Director Sams said the Great Meadow Wetland ecosystem restoration project will lay a foundation for the entire national parks system.

Keith Johnston (from left), Acadia National Park Chief of Maintenance, Rebecca Cole-Will, Acadia National Park Chief of Resource Management, Jesse Wheeler, Acadia National Park vegetation team manager, Charles F. Sams III, National Park Service Director, Kevin Schneider, Acadia National Park superintendent, and Stephanie Clement, Friends of Acadia Conservation Director, pose for a photo after a press conference near Great Meadow Friday, July 29, 2022 in Acadia National Park. (Photo by Ashley L. Conti/Friends of Acadia)

National Park Service Director Chuck Sams visited Acadia National Park last week, highlighting an ecosystem restoration project that received $500K in federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed by Congress last November.

The week of project visits and discussions culminated on Friday, July 29, with a press briefing regarding the Great Meadow Wetland ecosystem restoration project at Acadia. The Great Meadow Wetland restoration received $500K in fiscal year 2022 and Bass Harbor Marsh (another Wild Acadia Initiative) will receive $400K in fiscal year 2023 through the bipartisan infrastructure law. The law makes a $1.4 billion down payment in the conservation and stewardship of America’s public lands that will lead to better outdoor spaces and habitats for people and wildlife for generations to come.

Acadia National Park officials briefed National Park Service Director Sams on how the federal funds will be used to help improve water flow, reduce flooding, lessen climate impacts, and enhance recreational opportunities in the wetland. The federal funding supports and leverages significant investments by Friends of Acadia and the National Park Service in forward-thinking adaptive management. It builds on six years of work in the wetland.

On Friday, Director Chuck Sams stated that the Great Meadow Wetland project will lay a foundation for the entire national parks system.

“We’ll start aggregating that data, doing best management practices, and being able to share those best management practices so nobody is starting from square one,” Sams said. “This is a great example of climate resiliency and climate adaptation and bringing back ecosystem function into the wetlands.”

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