Ogunquit River

The Ogunquit River Watershed drains the towns of Wells, Ogunquit, South Berwick, and York, Maine. 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.


Drainage: 24 square miles
Drinking water source for: None
Receives wastewater from: None
Significant water features: Moody Beach, Ogunquit Beach

Watershed Description

The Ogunquit River originates in South Berwick and travels east and southeast through York and Ogunquit. Along its route it forms a long salt marsh estuary between two barrier beaches, Ogunquit and Moody, before joining the Atlantic Ocean at Ogunquit Beach. The Maine turnpike runs north-south through the watershed, with the majority of development, including dense pockets of businesses and residences along route 1, occurring to the east of the pike. To the west, the watershed land consists primarily of large blocks of undeveloped land and scattered residences. The salt marsh estuary it forms, which is located within the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, creates important habitat for the endangered Piping Plover, as well as two species of turtles.

Currently, elevated fecal bacteria found throughout the watershed has caused it to be listed as impaired. The source of this pollution is likely caused by stormwater runoff and malfunctioning sewer systems. Continuing development along Route 1 may further hamper this issue with increased impervious surfaces leading to greater runoff. 

Local Information

Towns in Watershed

Ogunquit, South Berwick, Wells, York

Ogunquit Conservation Commission

The Conservation Commission’s goal is to protect Ogunquit's waterways, beaches, dunes and wetlands; To map, index and preserve Ogunquit’s open spaces including marshes, wetlands and wildlife habitats; And, to support a conservation land fund for the acquisition, development and citizens use of  public conservation areas.

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