The numerous bays and coves and their low tide flats are key to the abundance of shorebirds in this area. The Harrington and Pleasant Rivers divided by the peninsula leading to Ripley Neck are the major landforms of this area.
This site supports the highest documented concentration of Semipalmated Sandpipers in Maine. The area also supports a large number of wintering Black Ducks and Common Eiders.
This area is designated as an Area of Shorebird Management Concern that qualifies as Significant Wildlife Habitat under Maine?s Natural Resources Protection Act. This requires a permit prior to placement of permanent structures within the intertidal zone or saltwater marsh. Surrounding upland areas are largely undeveloped, yet, the potential for future housing developments and associated human disturbances is a concern. An oil spill here or at any of the sites in this IBA could be devastating for migrating shorebirds.
Surrounding lands are in private ownership, although the Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife owns a portion of the saltmarsh in the Pleasant River. Access to the estuary is best provided by public boat launches in Addison, Upper Wass Cove, Carrying Place Cove, the west shore of Ripley Neck, and near Mill Creek in Harrington. This site is best viewed from the water.