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Kennebunk River Watershed-based Management Plan


The Kennebunk River flows through the towns of Lyman, Arundel, Kennebunkport, and Kennebunk. Water quality in the river is being negatively affected by development and associated stormwater runoff.* The river is not currently meeting water quality standards set by the State of Maine. It has been reported by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection as experiencing ongoing fecal indicator bacterial contamination. Current conditions do not adequately support aquatic life.


A steering committee composed of town officials, members of the public, and representatives from contributing partners is developing a 10-year watershed-based management plan for the Kennebunk River. The plan identifies long-term strategies for addressing current water quality impairments through locally-supported goals, objectives, and actions intended to protect and restore the river and its tributaries.



January 2019

Funding is awarded under Section 604(b) of the Clean Water Act. The funding is administered by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Summer 2019

Water was tested in the main river and four tributaries: Goff Mill Brook, Ward Brook, Carlisle Brook, and Duck Brook. Samples were analyzed for the presence of fecal indicator bacteria. Roads and streams within the watershed were surveyed for potential sources of stormwater runoff pollution.

January 2020

Steering Committee begins to draft management plan based on data presented by the Technical Advisory Committee and a review of existing ordinances from each town.

August 2020

Community members engaged through story map and community-specific Zoom discussions.

October 2020

Watershed management plan released for public review.


  • Town of Lyman
  • Town of Arundel
  • Town of Kennebunkport
  • Town of Kennebunk
  • York County Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve
  • Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, and Wells Water District
  • Maine Department of Environmental Protection (water quality and Maine Healthy Beaches programs)
  • FB Environmental
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service


  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ($41,600 to York County Soil and Water Conservation District)
  • Matching funds provided by the four towns and the water district


York County Soil & Water Conservation District
Shri Verill, Project Manager
207-324-0888 or sverill AT

* As rainfall or snowmelt flows across the landscape, stormwater can become polluted with bacteria and excess nutrients. This stormwater runoff pollution could be responsible for elevated bacteria in the river, an indicator of contamination from human and animal sources that can pose potential human health risks from associated pathogens.

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