Funding Received for Thatcher Brook Restoration

The City of Biddeford received funding to plan restoration efforts for Thatcher Brook.

Maine Department of Environmental Protection Grant

The City of Biddeford received a grant for approximately $60,000 from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (Maine DEP) for the preparation of a watershed-based management plan for the Thatcher Brook watershed.

Public Kick-Off

A public kick-off meeting for the project was held at Biddeford City Hall on July 18th. Residents, business owners, and interested citizens are encouraged to learn about the project and find out how to get involved.

About Thatcher Brook

Thatcher Brook is a Class B stream located in the City of Biddeford and Town of Arundel that drains into the Saco River. 

Location

Largely hidden from view, Thatcher Brook is nearly 8 miles in length. More importantly, its watershed covers over 4,500 acres and reaches from I-95 to the Biddeford Municipal Airport. Contained within the watershed are a varied mix of land uses including the Maine State Turnpike, densely developed commercial sections along Route 1 and Route 111, a large portion of the City's industrial and business parks, older residential neighborhoods, and new subdivisions. 

Wildlife Habitat

There is also a considerable amount of forest, wetland and pasture. These areas contain significant trout habitat, vernal pools and even State endangered species such as the New England Cottontail. Also included in the watershed is a stretch of the Eastern Trail, a transportation-recreation greenway connecting Kittery to South Portland.

Impairment

In 2009, Maine DEP listed Thatcher Brook as impaired since it did not meet water quality standards on sampling stations located within the brook. One source of impairment may be the high percentage of impervious cover in the watershed. Surfaces like asphalt, cement and rooftops prevent infiltration of rainfall into the soil and instead carry pollutants, like dirt, oils, and metals, into Thatcher Brook. 

Watershed-Based Management Plan

The purpose of the Thatcher Brook Watershed-Based Management Plan is to develop a locally-supported plan that will identify the likely sources for Thatcher Brook's impairment and outline a strategy to restore and protect the Thatcher Brook watershed. The City's long-term goal is to enhance quality of life, minimize impacts to the environment and manage an identified growth area of the City in a comprehensive and responsible way.

Project Overview

The grant is a two year project and is expected to be completed in July, 2014. Collaborators on the project include

  • The City of Biddeford
  • GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. 
  • The Maine DEP
  • The Town of Arundel
  • The York County Soil and Water Conservation District

Funding for this project, in part, was provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. Section 319 grants are administered by Maine DEP in partnership with EPA. 

For more information, call Theresa Galvin of the York County Soil and Water Conservation District at 207-324-0888, ext. 208.