Welcome to the website of the York River Study Committee, which includes appointees from Eliot, Kittery, South Berwick, and York. For more information or questions, contact York River Study Coordinator Jennifer Hunter. View the Calendar for the latest information on meetings and events. Sign up for email announcements about the York River Study (on average, about one per month – with updates and news of upcoming meetings and events).
*** What’s New ***
The York River Study Committee invites you to learn more about a possible Partnership Wild and Scenic River Designation for the York River. See the events list farther down on this page for additional opportunities to learn more.
Overview of the York River Study Committee’s designation recommendation for the York River and its major tributaries: Designation Recommendation Overview
A Partnership Wild and Scenic River Designation maintains existing local control. Private property rights are not affected. A Partnership Wild and Scenic River designation:
- Does not put land under federal control.
- Does not require public access to private land.
- Does not change any existing land uses.
- Does not force any changes in local land-use decision-making processes or objectives.
- Does not create new federal permits or regulations.
- Does not prevent access to or use of the river or watershed lands.
- Does not affect hunting and fishing laws.
Community votes: Town select boards in York and Eliot have placed warrant items on the November 6, 2018 ballot to allow voters to decide whether to endorse a Partnership Wild and Scenic River designation for the York River and its major tributaries, and to accept the accompanying York River Watershed Stewardship Plan. Community support – a majority of ‘YES’ votes on the warrant articles – is needed for the US Congress to consider a Partnership River designation into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
- In York, Article #2 relates to the designation
- In Eliot, Article #10 relates to the designation
In Kittery and South Berwick, town councils will be asked to decide on whether to adopt a resolution supporting Partnership Wild and Scenic River designation.
List of upcoming events: Press Release September 3, 2018
- Table at York Village Marketfest, Saturday, September 22
- Table at Eliot Festival Day, Saturday, September 29
- Public meetings to answer questions – Tuesday, September 25 and Tuesday, October 23, York River Study Committee monthly meetings, starting at 5:30 p.m. at Grant House, 200 US Route 1, York
- YRSC-hosted community presentation on our region’s maritime history by UNH Professor Jeff Bolster, “A Watery Kingdom Transformed: York River and the Piscataqua Region Through Time,” Thursday, October 4, starting at 6:30 p.m. at York Community Auditorium @ York High School, 1 Robert Stevens Drive, York. Free, public event. No RSVP needed. See Event Flyer for more details.
- Workshop meeting with York Planning Board, Thursday, October 11, 7:00 p.m. at York Public Library
- Workshop with Kittery Town Council, Monday, October 22, 5:30 p.m. at Kittery Town Hall
The York River Watershed Stewardship Plan was approved by the York River Study Committee at its July 24, 2018 meeting. The Stewardship Plan is the culmination of over 30 months of work by the Study Committee to gather input on the York River and watershed resources valued by community members. The plan is available electronically and it can be viewed at town halls or libraries. Print copies can be requested from Jennifer Hunter. Stewardship Plan link: http://www.yorkrivermaine.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/York-River-Watershed-Stewardship-Plan-August-2018.pdf. We have our own “Story Map” – or online tour – that provides highlights, maps and data from the Stewardship Plan. View it here: https://arcg.is/njfP9
York River Study in the news:
- Harbor Board endorses river stewardship plan, York Weekly / Seacoast Online, September 18, 2018
- Editorial: 3 selectmen to be lauded for Wild and Scenic River vote, York Weekly / Seacoast Online, August 28, 2018
- Divided board puts York River plan on ballot in November, York Weekly / Seacoast Online, August 28, 2018
- Selectmen hold public hearing on York River plan, York Weekly / Seacoast Online, August 14, 2018
- Hearing Monday on York River plan, York Weekly / Seacoast Online, August 7, 2018
- Selectmen praise management plan for York River, York Weekly / Seacoast Online, June 26, 2018
Watch our York River Study video:
Towns that are part of the 33 square mile York River watershed
Dams (or remnants of past dams) in the watershed, including historic dams originally built to harness the river’s power for saw and grist mills
Species of fish found in tidal habitats during a 2001 study of the York River
Miles of streams and rivers in the York River watershed
Approximate acres of salt marsh in the York River estuary, providing valuable habitat for fish, birds, and other species
The year the first dam was built in the watershed
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