The only way to know the effects of pollution, and our efforts to curb it, is to monitor the quality of our region’s valuable water resources. Providing a strong tax base for towns through property taxes, water quality affects everyone in this region so rich in water resources.

Economic case for clean water

Lakes & Ponds

Volunteers work with us to regularly monitor the water quality of Damariscotta Lake, the region’s largest freshwater system. Data is collected throughout the summer months, from May through October, to help us understand where our lakes stand and how we can best protect them. Throughout the year, our staff periodically collects in-depth chemistry data to help identify the sources of pollution.  In addition, we monitor lakes for invasive plants that, if established, can overtake native species. If you’d like to help, email Garrison.

Damariscotta Lake Status Report

Map of Hydrilla on Damariscotta Lake

Damariscotta Lake Protection Plan (50 MB)

Rivers & Streams

Because the health of the Sheepscot River and its major tributaries is just as important for people as it is for endangered species like wild Atlantic Salmon, our dedicated crew of water quality volunteers monitor every two weeks throughout the summer. These data allow us to focus on areas where we may be able to improve water quality and habitat for fish by working with landowners. This work not only provides more opportunities to fish for species like native Brook Trout, but also increases populations of bait fish going back to the Gulf of Maine and supporting commercial fisheries.

Find Maine’s Water Quality Impairments (EPA website)


Through a partnership with other area land and water conservation organizations, the Maine Coastal Observing Alliance regularly monitors the status and changes in most of the Midcoast’s major river systems, including the Sheepscot and Damariscotta Rivers.

MCOA Annual Report