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Projects > Tidal Restriction Removal Demonstration

After a public hearing on October 24, 2005, the Kittery Town Council voted to conduct a flushing demonstration of Spruce Creek (see the story in The Portsmouth Herald). This demonstration consists of removing the flashboards from the tidal restriction located at US Route 1 and allowing the water to flow in both directions through the open dam in order to improve water quality and restore a more productive and healthy habitat. After a period of one year the tidal restriction working group will reconvene to assess the changes observed and to make a recommendation to the Town Council on future operation of the tidal gates.


  • With the cooperation of our volunteers, the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the Kittery Trading Post Outdoor Academy, we look forward to a summer full of monitoring projects on the creek. Please contact us if you'd like to get involved - and get out on the creek for a bit!
  • The second update meeting was held Wednesday, May 3rd at 9:00am in the Kittery Town Hall (check out the write-up from the Portsmouth Herald). Please feel free to review the comments, questions & answers. - and many thanks to all those who were able to attend. Next meeting in August!
  • The first update meeting was held Wednesday, February 8th. Please feel free to review the presentation and the comments, questions & answers. And be sure to check out observations noted by one of our member volunteers who lives in these upper reaches of the creek.
  • Check out the great before & after pictures taken by one of our member volunteers.
  • Please be sure to take a look at our Creek Watch page for observations and sightings.
  • The dive team came on Sunday, November 6th, at mid-day and successfully removed the bolts and flashboards. Check out the photos!
  • While the Spruce Creek Association has taken the lead in monitoring the creek during this year-long demonstration, we encourage all residents - particularly those of you who live on these upper portions of the creek - to participate in the monitoring and discussions. If you'd like to be included on the email list for this project to receive updates and observations, please sign up for the updates.
  • We've held two of the three quarterly update meetings on February 8th and May 3. The 3rd update meeting is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, August 2nd at 6pm (location TBD) and the final assessment meeting will be held in late October or early November. For those of you on our update list, we'll send reminder emails before the meetings. We encourage you to participate in these meetings to share your thoughts, observations and even photos, so that we can better understand any effects of the new tidal regime.


Proposed Tidal Restriction Removal Demonstration
The Town Council held public hearing to consider a one-year demonstration to confirm the expected improvement in water quality and habitat from increased tidal flow in the upper portions of Spruce Creek. The increased tidal flow would be achieved by removing the existing flashboards at the Route One tidal weir. The improvements will be confirmed through water quality monitoring and abutter interviews.

Please take some time to review the Tidal Restriction Demonstration Proposal which includes a description of the proposed project and its goals, monitoring methods and costs. The more complete packet (Caution: large file) includes letters of support and background information (as available at the above links, as well).



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