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Ogunquit Watershed

Public Swimming Beaches

The Ogunquit River Watershed covers 24 square miles in Wells, Ogunquit, South Berwick, and York. It includes the main stem of the Ogunquit River, and Green, Bragdon, and Stevens Brook, as well as a number of small ponds and wetlands. The watershed contains several large blocks of forest, and scattered areas of agricultural land. Within the watershed are a number of high value habitats for rare and endangered species, including the endangered Piping Plover and two species of turtle. Development in the Ogunquit River Watershed is focused primarily between the Maine Turnpike and the coast. This includes dense areas of residential and commercial development along Route 1, in Ogunquit and Wells. West of the Turnpike, the development is mostly scattered residences and roads, with more large blocks of undeveloped natural area.

Two swimming beaches are located near the mouth of the Ogunquit River, in the high density areas of Ogunquit Village and Moody. The river forms a large salt marsh estuary between these barrier beaches, which is part of the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. The landscape surrounding both the beaches and the marsh is characterized by a high percentage of impervious surfaces, which results in increased flows of stormwater into these ecosystems.

Moody Beach is located along Ocean Avenue, south of Moody Point. A dense residential area is built on the dunes, and separates the beach from the inland salt marsh.

Ogunquit Beach is separates the river from the Gulf of Maine, in Ogunquit Village. The beach is relatively undeveloped, except for several stores and a parking lot at its southern end, and the Ogunquit Wastewater Treatment Plant at the northern end.

Increasing development (land use change) and loss of vegetation along stream and river banks.

Degrading water quality could impact recreational uses.
Ongoing Projects:
Ogunquit Conservation Commission, Maine Healthy Beaches, and the Ogunquit Sewer District are monitoring water quality.

The Great Works Regional Land Trust in partnership with the Mt Agmenticus to the Sea Initiative is protecting land in the headwaters.

The Wells Reserve is completing a Watershed Management Plan in Spring 2007.
Key Resource(s) for Ogunquit Watershed:
(Click the Title of the entry below to learn more.)
Great Works Regional Land Trust
Community Assistance Providers

Serving the communities of Berwick, Eliot, Ogunquit, and Wells.

Ogunquit Conservation Commission
Community Assistance Providers
Active in water quality monitoring on both the Josias and Ogunquit Rivers in Maine.
Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve
Community Assistance Providers
The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve is dedicated to protecting and restoring coastal ecosystems of the Gulf of Maine through integrated research, education, stewardship, environmental learning, and community partnerships.
York Rivers Association
Community Assistance Providers
A group of citizens, non-profit organizations, local, state and federal agencies working together to protect and restore the rivers of York.
Ogunquit River Watershed Conservation Strategy
Outreach Publications
Compilation of watershed-based information.
Ogunquit River Watershed Management Plan
Outreach Publications
A guide for the protection and restoration of the Ogunquit River.
Microbial Pollution Levels and Transport Pathways at Ogunquit Beach
Publications, Websites, and Tools
A 2008 report comparing the high levels of bacteria in the Ogunquit River with the influences of tide, currents, salinity, waves, precipitation, wind, and temperature along Ogunquit Beach.
Towns located in Watershed:
Ogunquit [ME]
South Berwick [ME]
Wells [ME]
York [ME]
Counties located in Watershed:
York [ME]
 Website: www.co.york.me.us
 Phone: 207-324-1571
 Population SWIM Towns: 121,400
 Total County Population: 202,232 (U.S. Census Est. 2006)
 Area SWIM Towns: 645.3 square miles
 Total County Area: 1002.6 square miles
Waterbodies located in Watershed:
(WC-watercourse, WB-waterbody)

Green Brook [WC]; Stevens Brook [WC]

The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farm, Wells, Maine Copyright 2006 All rights reserved. Collaboration with NOAA CSC, Charleston SC