Welcome to the website of the York River Wild and Scenic Study Committee, which includes appointees from Eliot, Kittery, South Berwick, and York. The committee is tasked with evaluating York River for designation into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. For more information, contact York River Study Coordinator Jennifer Hunter.
In November 2017, the York River Study Committee unanimously endorsed pursuing a Partnership Wild and Scenic River designation for the York River and its major tributaries – see Designation Recommendation Overview. The York River Watershed Stewardship Plan is the culmination of over 30 months of work by the York River Study Committee to gather information about the York River and its watershed. The plan is available at town halls and libraries. An accompanying “Story Map” – or online tour – provides highlights, maps and data from the Stewardship Plan. Communities endorsed river designation and the Stewardship Plan in late 2018, through votes on warrant articles in Eliot and York and adoption of resolutions by town councils in Kittery and South Berwick. Now we need Congress to pass the bill to designate York River as “Wild and Scenic.”
Read more about what makes York River special: Poster on York River’s outstanding resources
In addition, Congresswoman Pingree introduced an amendment to the Wilderness Protection Act (H.R. 803) that included designation of the York River into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. H.R. 803 passed the House on February 26, 2021 and now is being taken up by the Senate. READ MORE: Press release from Congresswoman Pingree.
Focus on York River and Climate Change: The committee developed materials for several public events in 2020 hosted by York Ready for 100%–visit their site to learn more and sign up for the York EcoHOMES initiative!
- York River and Climate Change Poster – resiliency and adaptation measures
- Climate change impacts to Gulf of Maine
- Recommendations from the York River Watershed Stewardship Plan
- The York River Study Committee currently convenes its meetings on Zoom. Video or call-in participation options are available. When held, meetings occur on the 4th Tuesday of the month, starting at 5:30 p.m. Please contact Jennifer Hunter for meeting information. The Committee last met on November 23, 2021, on Zoom.
York River Wild and Scenic Study in the news:
- Senate Committee advances York River ‘wild and scenic’ designation with bipartisan vote, Seacoast Online, November 18, 2021
- York River bid for ‘wild and scenic’ status goes before U.S. Senate subcommittee, Seacoast Online/York Weekly, June 25, 2021
- York River nears designation as ‘Wild and Scenic’, NEWS CENTER Maine, March 3, 2021
- All 4 members of Maine congressional delegation back York River ‘wild and scenic’ bill, Portsmouth Herald, March 2, 2021
- US House backs York River’s ‘wild and scenic’ designation, Portland Press Herald, February 26, 2021
- Nearly a decade in the making: Chellie Pingree pushes York River nearer to ‘wild and scenic’ finish line, Portsmouth Herald, February 26, 2021
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
Acres of salt marsh in the York River estuary that capture and store carbon and provide valuable habitat for many species
The year the first dam was built in the watershed
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