Branch Brook (Little River)

The Little River watershed is dominated by Branch Brook and the Merriland River. These tributaries converge then flow for another mile before entering the Gulf of Maine. A large salt marsh estuary and two swimming beaches are located at the mouth of the Little River.


Drainage: 31.5 square miles
Drinking water source for: Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Wells 
Receives wastewater from: None
Significant water features: Branch Brook, Laudholm Beach, Crescent Surf Beach

Watershed Description

The Little River watershed is one of the least developed and most protected watersheds in Southern Maine with 4,428 (21%) acres either in permanent protection or owned by the Water District. Another 2,863 acres (13%) is in Tree and Farm current use taxation programs, and another 8,575 acres (41%) is undeveloped. 

The watershed provides important habitat for rare and endangered species, including the endangered Black Racer throughout forested segments, and the endangered Piping Plover along sand dunes. Additionally, the large salt marsh estuary formed at the mouth of the Little River provides habitat for wading birds and waterfowl including the Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow.

Branch Brook is listed as a "Nonpoint Source Priority Watershed" by Maine Department of Environmental Protection. 

Local Information

Towns in Watershed

Kennebunk, Sanford, Wells

"MBLR" Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Plan

This plan represents another step towards the prevention of unnecessary and preventable decline in the exceptional aquatic resources supported by the Merriland River-Branch Brook system and the surrounding landscape.

Learn More