Old Orchard Beach Department of Public Works staff clean-up behind Loranger Memorial School. Courtesy photo

In 2018 the Town of Old Orchard Beach, in partnership with the City of Saco and the York County Soil and Water Conservation District (YCSWCD) was awarded an implementation grant for Phase II of the Goosefare Brook Watershed Restoration Project. Funding for this project was provided in part by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act.

The Goosefare Brook (GFB) Watershed covers approximately 5,902 acres (9.2 sq. mi.) of land and is shared between the City of Saco and in the Town of Old Orchard Beach. The Goosefare Brook has been assessed by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection as not meeting its water quality standards for metals, aquatic life use, and bacteria. As a result, it has been listed on the state’s 303(d) list of impaired waters.

Multiple projects were performed at Loranger Memorial School and Jameson Elementary, both in Old Orchard Beach, in 2019 to treat stormwater runoff and erosion issues. Several more projects are planned for 2020. These projects include a rain garden at the Biddeford-Saco golf course, two tree box filters in Old Orchard Beach, and a detention basin at Loranger Memorial School. Currently, part of the Phase 2 grant is dedicated to development projects in Saco. Do you have a development project in Saco that results in disruption of less than 1 acre and /or creates less than 10,000 square feet of impervious cover? Would you like to do something about the impervious surface on your property? If so, please contact the City of Saco planning and engineering department to find out if you would be eligible for funding support through this grant.

In addition, two Goosefare Brook Clean-up Days took place in 2019 in Saco and in OOB. Volunteers from Thornton Academy in Saco spent an afternoon helping Saco staff clean debris and garbage from the Saco Park and Ride. OOB Department of Public Works staff spent an afternoon cleaning garbage from behind the Loranger Memorial School as well. Another Clean-Up Day has been scheduled in Saco and OOB in the fall of 2020. Details about clean up locations, times and dates will be posted on the City of Saco and OOB websites.

For more information about the Goosefare Brook Restoration Project, contact Jennifer Harris, Project Manager at York County Soil & Water Conservation District: [email protected] or (207) 324-0888 x 208.

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