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Spruce Creek Watershed
DESCRIPTION:

The Spruce Creek Watershed covers 9.6 square miles in Kittery and a small portion of Eliot. It includes Spruce Creek, Hutchins Creek, Wilson Creek, Cutts Pond, and Deering Pond, as well as numerous small streams, ponds and wetlands. Land cover within the watershed includes several small blocks of forest and agricultural land, some of which provide significant habitat for the New England Cottontail. There is significant development within the Spruce Creek Watershed, especially surrounding Route 1 and the Maine Turnpike, and the tidal portion of Spruce Creek. These areas have a high percentage of impervious surface which leads to increased stormwater runoff into the creek.

Spruce Creek is 5.25 miles long and drops 60 feet from its headwaters in Eliot. It passes flow restrictions at the Maine Turnpike and Route 1, where it becomes tidal and brackish. This portion of the watershed is important habitat for waterfowl and wading birds. The creek becomes shallow and broad where at low tide approximately 2.5 square miles of clam flats are exposed along its banks. The state owned site of Fort McClary sits at the mouth of Spruce Creek, where it joins the Piscataqua River.

 
CURRENT ISSUES:
Listed as a Non-point Priority Watershed by Maine Department of Environmental Protection for bacteria, toxic contamination, low dissolved oxygen, ability to support commercial marine resources (clams), and ecological value.
Reduction of the Route 1 flow restriction increasing the tidal range upstream for an experimental period.
Stormwater runoff from retail malls on Route 1
Loss of riparian buffer on the tidal portion of the Creek.
 
Ongoing Projects:
Spruce Creek Watershed Improvement Project Phase One starting summer 2008
Watershed Management Plan completed Spring 2008.
Contamination Studies at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
 
Key Resource(s) for Spruce Creek Watershed:
(Click the Title of the entry below to learn more.)
Kittery Land Trust
Community Assistance Providers
A land trust serving the town of Kittery with conservation options for landowners.
Spruce Creek Association
Community Assistance Providers
An advocacy organization promoting the protection and good health of Spruce Creek in Kittery and Eliot.
Spruce Creek Watershed Conservation Strategy
Outreach Publications
Compilation of watershed- based information.
Spruce Creek Watershed Based Management Plan
Publications, Websites, and Tools
Due to poor water quality, Spruce Creek is listed in Maine's 2006 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report (303d) as impaired under Category 5-B-1: Estuarine & Marine Water Impaired...
 
Towns located in Watershed:
Eliot [ME]
Kittery [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)

Barters Creek [WC]; Crockett's Brook [WC]; Cutts Pond [WB]; Deering Pond [WB]; Fuller Brook [WC]; Hill Creek [WC]; Hutchins Creek [WC]; Wilson Creek [WC]

 
 
Spruce
Spruce Creek from the 103 Bridge
The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farm, Wells, Maine Copyright 2006 All rights reserved. Collaboration with NOAA CSC, Charleston SC