4 More Maine Towns Protect Coastal Waters

The Maine coastal communities of Camden, Rockport, Rockland, and portions of Owls Head are protecting their coastal water quality with a “No Discharge Area” designation.

This status prohibits the discharge of treated and untreated boat sewage in these areas. Boat sewage can lead to health problems for swimmers, closed shellfish beds, and the overall degradation of marine habitats.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved a request by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (ME DEP) to make the designation with a publication on Feb. 5 in the Federal Register. EPA’s decision is based on the availability of sufficient pumpout facilities to the boating public in this area. There are six pumpout facilities in this area, and an estimated 1151 boats, approximately 813 of which are large enough to have a "head" or toilet on board. EPA worked closely with state and local officials, and conducted site visits to the area to determine that the six facilities were sufficient to meet the needs of the local boating public.

“A clean environment is one of the bedrock foundations for vibrant, healthy, and prosperous communities,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. “Clean coastal water means more days when people can enjoy the beach in the summer, healthy shellfisheries, and a resilient tourist economy.”

"The quality of our waters is a huge asset to the State," said Maine DEP Commissioner David Littell. "The new no discharge designation will only increase economic opportunities for area fisherman who rely on clean waters for healthy fisheries."

Other coastal waters designated in New England designated as No Discharge Areas include:

  • All state marine waters of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.
  • In Maine, Boothbay Harbor and Casco Bay, marine waters of Mount Desert, Southwest Harbor, Cranberry Isles and portions of Tremont; coastal waters of Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, and Wells.
  • In Massachusetts, Harwich, Waquoit Bay, Nantucket Harbor, Wellfleet, Barnstable, and Buzzards Bay (including Wareham and Westport), Plymouth/Duxbury/Kingston, Scituate/Marshfield/Cohasset, Salem Sound, Boston Harbor, Cape Cod Bay and Revere/Saugus/Lynn/Nahant/Swampscott.

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