A campaign to preserve one of the last undeveloped islands in Casco Bay for public access has received a $50,000 pledge, the Maine Coast Heritage Trust announced Monday.

Freeport-based Maine Beer Co. is making the gift toward the $1.3 million the trust needs to buy and manage Little Whaleboat Island, off Harpswell. The island is composed of a 22-acre trio of small islands, ledges and beaches. It is a popular spot for boaters and home to diverse wildlife including seals, osprey and shorebirds. It also offers two overnight camping sites on the Maine Island Trail.

Little Whaleboat and its camping opportunities were featured in a recent story in the Maine Sunday Telegram

Little Whaleboat is a vital link in the chain of undeveloped islands off Harpswell that are already being conserved. These include the 122-acre Whaleboat Island, the largest wild island in Casco Bay, and The Goslings, a cluster of islands that feature sandy beaches, campsites and a protected anchorage.

“Maine Beer Co. is excited to be able to join this important campaign to safeguard some of the last remaining undeveloped islands in Casco Bay,” said company co-founder Daniel Kleban. “When the opportunity comes up to permanently protect a place like this – right in our backyard – we have to seize it. There aren’t many spaces like this left, and it’s the right thing to do.”

Maine Coast Heritage Trust has until Dec. 31, to raise the full $1.3 million. With Maine Beer Co.’s gift, the nonprofit has $400,000 remaining.

More information about the Little Whaleboat project can be found at mcht.org/conservation-work/initiative/the-little-whaleboat-island-project/.

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