I was interested to see your Aug. 12 article “ ‘Unprecedented’ boat traffic off Maine’s coast creates COVID-19 challenge.”

I work as a land steward for the land conservation organization Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and I help care for a handful of conserved islands in Casco Bay. This year, we’ve seen a steep increase in visitors to the islands we own and manage as public preserves.

I think it’s fantastic that folks are getting out and enjoying the spectacular islands that southern Maine has to offer – possibly for the first time! Unfortunately, with this increased visitation we’ve also encountered more problems than ever before, including (to name just a few) multiple reports of uncontrolled dogs, dangerously placed fire rings and left-behind human waste and used toilet paper.

I’d encourage anyone visiting any conserved property to pay attention to signs, respect other visitors and always leave the place better than you found it. Thanks for your help in caring for these special places! And stay safe out there!

Caitlin Gerber
Chebeague Island

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