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Great Works Watershed

The Great Works River Watershed drains 84 square miles in the towns of Sanford, Wells, York, Berwick, North Berwick, and South Berwick, Maine. It includes the main stem of the Great Works River, Estes Brook, West Brook, and numerous small tributaries, as well as dozens of ponds and wetlands. The upper reaches of the watershed in Sanford and North Berwick are characterized by scattered agricultural land and 100 acre forest blocks interspersed with large areas of developed land. The highest level of development occurs around Goodall Brook, on the edge of downtown Sanford. Downstream from Sanford, a series of small ponds form an area of significant habitat for inland waterfowl and wading birds, deer wintering, and the endangered Northern Black Racer, Hessell’s Hairstreak, and Yellow-eyed Grass.

The middle portion of the Great Works River Watershed includes areas of dense development around North Berwick center, where the North Berwick Wastewater Treatment Facility outfall flows into the river. Several large blocks of mixed forest and agricultural land surround two tributaries, the Neoutaquet River, and Abbot Brook in North Berwick.

In the Southern and Eastern portion of the watershed, a vast area of wetlands, forests, and agricultural land make up one of the most significant natural areas in the region. Several tracts of conservation land are located here, surrounding Mt. Agamenticus. These include private and state held preserves and easements which provide recreation and important resource protection. Vast exemplary natural communities of oak forests provide thousands of acres of significant habitat for wildlife including the endangered Northern Black Racer and Ringed Boghaunter, and the threatened Swamp Darter, as well as important deer wintering habitat and inland waterfowl and wading bird habitat. The final stretch of the watershed includes the developed area around Leighs Mill village in South Berwick.

The Great Works River runs 24.5 miles and changes 520 feet in elevation from the headwaters in downtown Sanford to its confluence with the Salmon Falls River in South Berwick. The river passes 4 dams, one at Bauneg Beg Pond, another in North Berwick center, and two at Leighs Mill Pond. There is one other dam in the watershed, on the Neoutaquet River just upstream of where it joins the Great Works River in North Berwick.

The Great Works River has been identified by Maine Department of Environmental Protection as a significant contributor of non-point source pollution into the Salmon Falls River and Piscataqua River estuaries. The river’s status is listed by Maine DEP as “threatened” and it has been placed on the state’s “Non-point Pollution Priority Watershed List”.
Ongoing Projects:
The Great Works River Watershed Coalition has been collecting and analyzing water quality at 25 locations since 2002. A Watershed Survey was conducted in 2002 and a Watershed Management Plan is being finished in early 2007.

The Great Works Regional Land Trust has been active in conserving land both in the watershed and directly along the streams and tributaries. Mt Agamenticus, Bauneg Beg Mountain, and Beaver Dam Heath are Land Trust focus areas.
Key Resource(s) for Great Works 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.

Great Works River Watershed Coalition
Community Assistance Providers
Includes watershed municipalities of Berwick, South Berwick, North Berwick, Sanford, Wells, and York.
Three Rivers Land Trust
Community Assistance Providers
A regional land trust for Acton, Alfred, Lebanon, Sanford, and Shapleigh in Maine
Great Works River Watershed Non-point Pollution Watershed Plan
Publications, Websites, and Tools
A Plan to advance locally supported water quality goals, objectives, and action items for protecting the Great Works River and its tributaries.
Towns located in Watershed:
Berwick [ME]
North Berwick [ME]
Sanford [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)

Abbots Brook [WC]; Adams Brook [WC]; Bauneg Beg Pond [WB]; Beaver Dam Brook [WC]; Beaver Dam Heath [WB]; Beaver Dam Pond [WB]; Bennett Brook [WC]; Boyd Brook [WC]; Chicks Brook [WC]; Cox Pond [WB]; Curtis Pond [WB]; Dennett Brook [WC]; Estes Brook [WC]; Frost Brook [WC]; Goodall Brook [WC]; Heath, The [WB]; Hoopers Brook [WC]; Hussey Brook [WC]; Knights Brook [WC]; Knights Pond [WB]; Leighs Mill Pond [WB]; Little Long Pond [WB]; Little Pond [WB]; Lovers Brook [WC]; Mud Pond [WB]; Neoutaquet River [WC]; Old Fishing Pond [WB]; Perkins Brook [WC]; Picture Pond [WB]; Pond-in-theRiver [WB]; Round Pond [WB]; Sand Pond [WB]; Warren Pond [WB]; West Brook [WC]; Whites Marsh Brook [WC]

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