Spruce Creek Association

About Spruce Creek

About Us


Get Involved


Creek Watch

Calendar of Events

Contact Us

Partners & Friends



Projects > Nonpoint Source Pollution Survey

Spruce Creek 319 Non-point Source Pollution Survey Results

The survey team found 197 sites of nonpoint source pollution in the 9.6 square miles of the watershed surveyed, representing over 400 impacts. When compared with York River watershed, which encompasses 33 square miles yet only had 185 sites, with the Ogunquit River (24 square miles, 160 sites), or with the Little River (31 square miles and 62 sites), this is a significantly large number of sites. 70% of the sites in Spruce Creek included some sort of issue with nutrients, while over a third of the sites also were impacted by trash or debris, impervious surface and lack of vegetated buffers.

The primary remediation activities the report recommends are:

  • Vegetated buffers must be protected and restored
  • Trash and debris dumping needs to stop
  • Impervious surfaces need to be limited
  • Flow restrictions need to be re-engineered
  • Conservation land needs to be increased
  • Water quality testing needs to continue
  • Enforcement of ATV laws needs to occur
  • Stormwater control efforts need to continue

Please review the complete survey and slide presentation for more information:

(Funding for this project, in part, was provided by the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. Section 319 grants are administered by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in partnership with EPA.)

Field Work - Tributaries Survey
On Saturday, June 4, 2005, over 50 local volunteers participated in a morning training session led by the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve and then surveyed more than 56 miles of Spruce Creek's tributaries' shoreline (that's over 100 miles!). Their objective was to recognize and locate polluted runoff (non-point-source pollution) that causes degraded water quality. Spruce Creek encompasses 52 percent of Kittery and is one of the town's greatest natural resources. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection considers the creek a watershed at risk. Saturday's event was the first phase of what was a summer-long shoreland watershed survey led by the Wells Reserve. The towns of Kittery and Eliot and the Spruce Creek Association were awarded a DEP grant in 2005 in the amount of $23,725 for this effort.

Community support for the survey was incredible. There were volunteers from the Kittery Land Trust, the Kittery and Eliot conservation commissions, the Kittery Shellfish Commission, the Kittery Planning Board, the Spruce Creek Association, Bob's Clam Hut, Echo Rowing and the public. Staff members from the Portland DEP branch came all the way down to help out. Tin Smith from the Wells Reserve said they have never seen such a good turnout. We want to thank all of you who participated in this important event. And it was fun!

Two area businesses lent their support. Bob's Clam Hut gave all of the volunteers a wonderful lunch and wished us well as we headed out to survey. Bob's owner, Michael Landgarten, whose two restaurants abut Spruce Creek, has been an active member of the Spruce Creek Association since its beginning two years ago. We will be talking about the clam strips and haddock sandwiches (as well as the ice cream treat!) for a long time to come. Thank you, Michael, Shari and the crew, for your wonderful and generous contribution to our effort.

Field Work - Main Portion of Spruce Creek and Barter's Creek Survey
On Thursday, June 16, 2005, two teams of volunteers completed the survey of the main water portion of Spruce Creek and of Barter's Creek. These results were combined with the findings of the tributaries survey earlier in the month.


The Kittery Trading Post, also a Spruce Creek abutter, loaned the Wells Reserve 12 hand-held GPS units, making our work much easier. Thank you, Kevin and Bob Adams, for your support.

And many (yummy!) thanks to Michael Landgarten and the staff at Bob's Clam Hut for fortifying our volunteers before they set out to monitor.

You can read more about the project in The Portsmouth Herald and in our letter to their editor, "Survey crews appreciated" (at the very bottom of the page).


© 2009 Spruce Creek Association. All rights reserved.info@sprucecreekassociation.org