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© Pete Saloutos/Panoramic Images (Maine Title Image Large)

The Lower Kennebec Estuary

Downstream from Merrymeeting Bay, the Lower Kennebec Estuary runs for another 15 miles between forested uplands and rocky shorelines, across mudflats and through salt marshes. 

Deep water and strong currents support an abundant food web and habitat for recovering populations of migratory fish, including Atlantic salmon, striped bass, alewife, shad, herring, and sturgeon. All twelve species of migratory fish currently found in Maine live here, and every native fish species was once found in the river. The high salt content and significant tidal changes in prevent much of the Lower Kennebec from freezing, providing critical habitat for over-wintering bird species.

Explore the Lower Kennebec Estuary

  • Back River and Hockomock Bay

    by Beginning with Habitat
    Marshes along the Sasanoa and Back Rivers make up one of the largest brackish tidal marsh systems in Maine.

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  • Pleasant Cove, Woolwich

    by Beginning with Habitat
    Five rare species have been found in moderate to high abundance along the eastern shore of Pleasant Cove.

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  • The Basin Preserve

    by Beginning with Habitat
    The largest protected area in the Kennebec Estuary, the Basin Preserve features a diverse topography that ranges from hemlock gorges and pitch pine ridges to over four miles of shoreline popular with boaters.

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  • Newtown and Minot Creeks and Tarrs Mountain, Arrowsic

    by Beginning with Habitat
    The approximately 200 acres of salt marshes of Newtown Creek and Minot Creek along both sides of Tarrs Mountain host intact diverse habitats near protected land.

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  • Preble Point, Arrowsic

    by Beginning with Habitat
    Surrounded by tidal marsh dominated by saltmarsh cordgrass and softstem bulrush, Preble Point is the state's only known location for the marsh bulrush, a hybrid of river bulrush and salt-marsh bulrush.

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