Join Friends of Merrymeeting Bay (FOMB) on Monday evening July 30th at 6:00pm for an evening paddle, or row, on the Muddy River in Topsham. This paddle was rescheduled due to severe thunderstorms forecasted on the original July 17th date.
Less than four miles long, the Muddy is shortest of six tributaries draining into Merrymeeting Bay. Surrounded by low-lying wetlands or dense timber for much of its length, these habitat characteristics have helped prevent the residential development found in other Bay area shorefronts. In recent years, much of the abutting lands have been permanently protected thanks to area landowners and efforts by the Maine Wetlands Protection Coalition including area land trusts like Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and FOMB as well as the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The Muddy’s “isolating” topography makes for a quiet and remote feel to the River as well as excellent wildlife and plant habitat.
Merrymeeting Bay is home to a dozen rare mud plants, some considered globally rare, but has so far been lucky to escape an often frequent influx of the invasive European strain of phragmites reed. The common European strain quickly forms large monoculture stands and crowds out native wetland species. Unique in this area to the Muddy however are native phragmites, which, with a much less dense growth habit, coexists well with other native plants in the marsh.
Leading this paddle is Warren Whitney (Whit), formerly the Executive Director of FOMB and currently Land Trust Program Director, at Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Paddlers must bring their own boat and PFD and possess at least intermediate paddling skills.
FOMB’s Summer Outside! Series is the warm weather counterpart to their popular Winter Speaker Series. This event is free and open to the public. Pre-registration with trip leader Warren Whitney at 666-3376 is required.
The next FOMB Outside 2018! event will be a Mud Plant Walk with Justin Schlawin from the Maine Natural Areas Program on August 18th from 1:30-3:30 pm in Dresden. Pre-registration for the walk is with Ed Friedman at 666-3372.