Spruce Creek Watershed-Based Management Plan

Plan Background

Due to poor water quality, Spruce Creek is listed in Maine’s 2006 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report (303d) as impaired under Category 5-B-1: Estuarine & Marine Water Impaired by Bacteria (TMDL required) for nonpoint source pollutant sources. This body of water is also identified by the Maine DEP as one of 17 Nonpoint Source Priority Coastal Watersheds due to bacterial contamination, low dissolved oxygen, toxic contamination, and a compromised ability to support commercial marine fisheries. Additionally, the Spruce Creek watershed is listed by the DEP as one of seven coastal watersheds most at risk from development in the state.

Development of a watershed management plan is a key step in Watershed Management, leading to restoration of a polluted or otherwise impaired waterbody. To this end, the Spruce Creek Association (SCA) has been working with the Towns of Kittery and Eliot to develop a watershed-based management plan, which will serve as a blueprint for restoring and protecting Spruce Creek. Incorporating input from stakeholders, this plan identifies the most pressing problems in the Spruce Creek estuary and establishes goals, objectives, and actions for resolving them. The management plan also contains strategies for monitoring progress and financing implementation. The Spruce Creek Watershed- Based Management Plan (WBMP) will be reexamined and revised on a regular basis to ensure that the goals, objectives, and specific actions continue to address the most pressing problems.

Plan Goals & Objectives

The goal of the Spruce Creek Watershed-Based Management Plan is to safeguard and enhance the watershed, its water quality and its diversity of habitats and wildlife as part of a regional landscape so that present and future generations can benefit from the full potential of its natural resources. The following objectives have been identified to achieve the long-term goals established for the watershed:

  • Protect and restore vegetated buffers, to reduce NPS pollution and improve water quality.
  • Control invasive plants.
  • Reduce bacteria loads / open shellfish beds.
  • Treat impervious surfaces / minimize stormwater impacts.
  • Increase conservation lands within Spruce Creek watershed.
  • Continue water quality assessment and evaluation.
  • Reduce existing heavy metal contamination.