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 us.

State of the Lake report

Damariscotta Lake Status Report

Map of Hydrilla on Damariscotta Lake

Damariscotta Lake Protection Plan (50 MB)

Rivers & Streams

Sheepscot River

Our dedicated crew of water quality volunteers monitor every two weeks throughout the summer. These data help us to focus on areas where we need to improve water quality and habitat for fish. We do this by working with landowners to make improvements on their property to keep contaminants from flowing into the river. This is good for species like native Brook Trout and anglers. It also helps increase populations of bait fish going back to the Gulf of Maine for commercial fisheries.

Medomak River

The Medomak is the leading softshell clam producer in the State of Maine, despite experiencing frequent closures due to contamination. Midcoast Conservancy is part of an inter-agency task force working to eliminate sources of fecal bacteria that enter the river. This includes investigation and remediation of sources from agriculture, residential septic systems, industrial pollutants, and waterfowl.

Find a list of 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