Scarborough's natural resources are a unique and irreplaceable asset. Within the Town's boundaries exist seashore, salt and freshwater marsh, wetlands, forest, uplands, tidal rivers and streams which are home to varied and unique species of wildlife. Few towns in Maine have the diverse resources as exist in Scarborough, which provide critical habitat for shore birds and other avian species, shellfish beds, fish nurseries, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. These natural resources and habitat are being lost or threatened as Scarborough continues to be one of the fastest growing towns in Maine.
The Conservation Commission's primary responsibility is to increase awareness of the value of our natural resources, work to identify and reduce potential damage to these natural areas and to proactively work with Town Staff, other committees, and local organizations to encourage sustainable stewardship of these resources.
The Conservation Commission undertakes a variety of tasks including working with the Town Council, Ordinance Committee, and Staff to review and refine natural resources related ordinances, various educational projects, and maintaining an informative and useful website. The Commission is closely involved with the Scarborough Land Conservation Trust, the Friends of Scarborough Marsh, and the Town of Scarborough Parks and Conservation Land Board.
The Conservation Commission also acts as the Town's Pest Management Advisory Committee to oversee the Town's pest management policy. In this role, the Commission advises the Town Manager of any problems encountered or amendments required to achieve the full and successful implementation of an organic pest management program.
The Maine State Law (Source: MRSA, Title 30) gives conservation commissions:
- The authority to conduct research, in conjunction with the Planning Board, into local land area.
- Keep and index of all open areas within the town for the purpose of obtaining information relating to the proper protection, development or use of those open areas.
- Coordinate activities of conservation bodies.
- Distribute education information.
- Recommend programs for the better use and protection of open areas, whether publicly or privately owned, including open marshlands, swamps and other wetlands.
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