SCWIP Phase 3 Overview


The primary purpose of the Spruce Creek Watershed Improvement Project (SCWIP) Phase III was to continue addressing the cumulative impacts of increasing development and polluted runoff to surface waters in the Spruce Creek watershed. This project focused on addressed polluted runoff and septic system problems to reduce bacteria loading and the export of sediment/metals/nutrients, to help restore water quality, and to help open shellfish harvest areas. This was accomplished through the installation of structural Best Management Practices (BMPs) at residential and commercial properties. SCWIP Phase III also continued to raise awareness about watershed problems and foster long-term watershed stewardship through public outreach.

Some of the major project outcomes include:

  • Completed the Town of Kittery Septic System Database and property ranking by pollution risk.
  • The installation of 17 BMPs to control polluted runoff (14 residential and 3 commercial)
  • Over 145 volunteer hours logged
  • The maintenance of the Save Kittery Waters website
  • The continuation of the Save Kittery Waters Pledge program, which received pledges form 31 local citizens to implement 332 watershed-friendly practices on their properties
  • Presentations or education exhibits at over 10 events, including to “septic socials”

For more information please download the SCWIP Phase 3 Final Report.

Project Duration

Project start date: June 2013
Project completion date: September 2015

Estimated Total Cost, Federal & Non-Federal Sources
Federal Grant (319): $75,750
Non-Federal Match: $58,770 ($15,285 below pledged match of $74,055)
Total: $134,520

Project Outcome

  1. At least 17 BMPs installed to treat 8 NPS sites.
  2. At least 300 watershed citizens and visitors directly educated

Environmental Results

  1. Pollutants controlled: Reductions of sediment (tons/year), nitrogen (lbs/yr) and phosphorus (lbs/year) will be estimated for NPS sites treated with BMPs. Estimated tons of sediment kept out of Spruce Creek by addressing high and medium impact sites.
  2. Water Quality Improvement: Improvement in river water quality is a long-term measure of environmental results of NPS abatement in the watershed. The final project report will include a summary of the current status of water quality as reported by the quality-assured efforts of the volunteer Spruce Creek Association. The summary will describe progress reopening the shellfish harvest area.

Interagency Coordination, Roles & Responsibilities

Grantee: The Town of Kittery

  • The Maine Department of Environmental Protection administered project funding, served as the project advisor, participated on the steering committee and assisted with local education/outreach efforts.
  • The US Environmental Protection Agency  provided project funding and guidance.
  • The Town of Kittery served as the project sponsor and was responsible for the coordination and implementation of all project activities.
  • The Spruce Creek Association provided in-kind match and served on the steering committee, updated and expanded the current list of watershed residents, recruited volunteer assistance for NPS mitigation sites, coordinated the community participation, and assisted in designing the outreach materials
  • The Maine Department of Marine Resources contributed water quality monitoring and shoreline survey data and assisted with managing and reopening clam flats.
  • The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve participated on the project steering committee and provided input on project tasks.
  • The York County Soil and Water Conservation District provided project support, paid technical assistance, engineering assistance, served on the steering committee and assisted with all project tasks.
  • Representatives from the Town of Eliot served on the steering committee and provided project updates to Town’s Select Board, Planning Board and Conservation Commission.
  • The University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center provided technical assistance on effective stormwater BMPs for treatment and removal of bacteria, heavy metals, and nutrients.


Project Photos

Visit the Protect Kittery Waters photo site at