Water Quality and River Restoration

The page provides many documents and links to source material regarding water quality and river restoration issues in the watershed.  Please send to us additional documents or links that you think should be published or archived here to assist various students, informal working groups, planners, or researchers.

The photos are from the May 2016 “World Fish Migration Day” celebration on the Royal, organized and supported by a dozen local organizations to connect people and communities to fisheries and the Royal River.

LINKS AND DOCUMENTS:

TNC and DEP sediment analysis at Bridge Street (November 20, 2017): TNC and DEP conclude that the Bridge Street impoundment is relatively clean. See related Press Herald 2016 story, posted below.  And here is the November 24, 2017, Portland Press Herald follow-up story.   And here is the full source report from Stantec, commissioned by The Nature Conservancy March 16, 2016.

Trout Unlimited Sebago Chapter correspondence to FERC and Yarmouth Town Council (November 9, 2017): Trout Unlimited’s correspondence may understate the role of local jurisdiction, and may inaccurately characterize the existence of hyrdopower negotiations.   And here is Town Manager Nat Tupper’s November 14 analytical response to Trout Unlimited.

Lewiston Sun Journal Article on Brandy Brook fish passage (September 2017):  Royal River Alliance partners helped improve fish passage in New Gloucester, on Brandy Brook, to improve wild trout habitat.

Royal River Alliance correspondence with USFWS, FERC filing (March 2017): Royal River Alliance leaders asked USFWS to analyze effective fish passage at the Bridge Street (Sparhawk) dam.

Fish Ladders on U.S. Dams Are Not Effective (April 2013):   Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Royal River Alliance correspondence with the Town of Yarmouth, FERC filing (Febuary 2017):  Royal River Alliance leaders filed commentary on the current status of FERC terms and conditions for the Bridge Street (Sparhawk) dam.

Town of Yarmouth correspondence to RRCT, and RRCT response (February 2017):  The Town Manager informed RRCT of ongoing interest by a hydropower developer, at Bridge Street (Sparhawk).

Friends of Casco Bay water quality monitoring (2017):  Friends of Casco Bay’s (FOCB’s) website includes recent water quality information in Yarmouth harbor, Cousins River, Cousins Island, and more. This FOCB 2017  summary page describes some of the specific data from Friends of Casco Bay testing on the Royal River estuary and Cousins River estuary, sites with water quality results of concern.

Watershed map — climate change focus areas (2017):  This map illustrates areas of the Royal River watershed — especially in Durham and Pownal, that The Nature Conservancy identifies as highly “resilient” for ecology in climate change scenarios.

Watershed map — conserved lands (2016):   This map illustrates all conserved lands in the watershed, key trails, and more.

Watershed map — why so muddy (2016):  This map illustrates the extent of “Presumpscot Clay” soils, which give the Royal River its characteristic chocolate brown siltation, a naturally occurring event irrespective of pollution or development.  The upper reaches of the watershed include spring-fed lakes and vast clean aquifers supporting Poland Spring, fish hatcheries, and clear bubbling trout streams.

Watershed map — fish passage (2016):  This map illustrates sea-run fishery restoration potential upriver in Pownal, New Gloucester, Freeport, and other towns, were Yarmouth’s dams to provide or maintain or restore effective fish passage.

Focus Area of Statewide Ecological Significance (2016):  The Royal River estuary, the Cousins River estuary, and broad sections of Casco Bay and its shoreline are part of a focus area of statewide ecological significance identified by Maine DIFW and others.

Maine Rivers Royal River Restoration Project (2016): Maine Rivers’ website includes many recent reports and press articles on sediment sampling, hydrofluvial geomorphology, dam alternatives, fisheries, and more.

Casco Bay Estuary Partnership (2016): CBEP has recently published Casco Bay Plan 2016-2021 with specific findings and recommendations following its 2015 State of the Bay report, focusing on a range of watershed, land protection, coastal, and land use issues.

A healthy Gulf of Maine goes with the flow of a restored Royal River.  Portland Press Herald, by Arthur Bell (Nov 2016)

Portland Press Herald article on Royal River pollutants, dams, hydropower, and fish passage (2016)

Fish Passage: Royal River Conservation Trust correspondence with Town of Yarmouth June 2016

Memorandum from Yarmouth Town Manager to Town Council (Feb 2016): This memorandum covers topics including hydropower, fish passage, and state and federal jurisdiction.

Royal River Conservation Trust correspondence with Town of Yarmouth Feb 2016 and 2015

Chandler Brook, River Herring Habitat Assessment (2015)

Cole Brook (Gray), Aquatic Life Classification Attainment Report (2015)

Comparison of building setbacks in shoreland zoning ordinances in New Gloucester, North Yarmouth, Pownal, and Yarmouth (2015)

Royal River Fish Passage (Map, Dams, Catchments, Barriers) (2013)

Memorandum summarizing McKin Superfund Site history and status (2013)

Portland Press Herald opinion article by Royal River Conservation Trust (2013)

Town of Yarmouth Stormwater Management Plan (2013)

Royal River DEP Biological Monitoring Program Aquatic Life Classification Attainment Report (2012)

Royal River Estuary EPA Waterbody Quality Assessment report (2012)

USGS Simulation of Streamflow in the Royal River using watershed models (2010)

Town of Yarmouth’s Royal River Corridor Master Plan (2008)

Moose Brook in Auburn Watershed Survey (2007)

Royal River Conservation Plan, Royal River Conservation Trust (2005)

Article – Do the Rivers, Streams and Estuaries in Casco Bay Watershed Meet State Water Quality Standards (2005)

Libby Brook (Gray) Implementation Plan (2003)

Libby Brook (Gray) Watershed Survey Final Report (2002)

Recurrence Intervals for Historic Droughts, Royal River, 1950-2002

Royal River Watershed, Water Quality Monitoring Report, Friends of the Royal River, 1993-1999 (2001)

EPA Casco Bay – Royal River Watershed Fact Sheet (2000)

GPS location of Residential, Recreational, and Signficant Vegetation Areas (1999)

DEP memo on Royal River uses to McKin Superfund Site File (1999)

DEP handwritten notes re URR Observed River Uses (1998)

Royal River Watershed Water Quality Management Plan, CCSWCD (1998)

DEP Royal River Estuary Waste Load Allocation (DRAFT, 1996)

GPCOG Royal River Watershed Management Plan (DRAFT, 1991)

FERC and USFWS exemption memoranda, Old Sparhawk Mill (1984 and 1985)

Fisheries of the United States (1887, excerpts)

Laws of Maine, Royal River fish passage required (1834, transcribed)

Laws of Maine, Royal River fish passage required (1834, original text)