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Webhannet River

Webhannet: Abenaki for "at the clear stream"

The Webhannet River Watershed occurs entirely within Wells, Maine, and includes the main stem of the Webhannet River, Blacksmith Brook, Pope Brook, other small tributaries, numerous wetlands and ponds, and a large salt marsh estuary. 


Drainage: 14 square miles
Drinking water source for: None
Receives wastewater from: None
Significant water features: Drakes Island Beach, Wells Beach

Watershed Description

Several large blocks of undeveloped forest and wetlands exist within the watershed and include habitats of high value to rare and endangered species. The most significant of these forest blocks sit west of the Maine Turnpike, in the headwaters of the watershed. Several parcels of conservation land are located around the estuary and associated marsh, at the mouth of the Webhannet River. These belong to the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge and small private easements. The coastal areas are characterized by high percentages of impervious surface, with most of the development in the watershed concentrated near the coast along Route 1, and along Sanford Road heading inland. 

Wells harbor is located at the mouth of the Webhannet River and is dredged periodically to allow access for private and commercial boats. Additionally, two swimming beaches are located at the mouth of the river. These beaches are separated from the estuary by dunes that have been densely developed with homes. Some of the remaining dunes provide habitat for the endangered Piping Plover.

Local Information

Towns in Watershed


Great Works Regional Land Trust

The Great Works Regional Land Trust is a member supported, non-profit organization that provides options for landowners in the six southernmost Maine towns. Their mission is to conserve the value of the area's natural, historic, agricultural, forestry, scenic and recreational resources. They accomplish this by holding conservation easements and educating locals as to the importance of conservation.

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