Nearly 20 percent of Maine’s population lives in the Casco Bay watershed, and those residents are connected to the Bay directly and indirectly. A dramatic event like the 1996 Julie N oil spill clearly sends the message that human activity can harm the Bay. Less obvious threats stem from myriad individual actions, such as excessive or improper use of lawn fertilizers and pesticides or washing cars near storm drains. Yet small actions can add up to a big pollution problem for coastal waters.

Members of the Casco Bay community who understand how their everyday actions affect the Bay — and take action based on that understanding — can help protect and maintain the health of the Estuary for future generations.

052914_TroutRelease_Edited-11STEWARDSHIP AROUND CASCO BAY

All over the watershed, volunteer groups are collecting water quality samples, sponsoring clean-up days, protecting sensitive habitats through voluntary land conservation, advocating for environmental protection, helping to prevent erosion and sedimentation, and educating the public about sound stewardship. Local businesses and industry are promoting stewardship through, for example, reduced reliance on hazardous chemicals and responsible practices in site development and farming. The stewardship efforts of municipal officials include eliminating combined sewer overflows, reducing stormwater pollution, managing shellfish areas, promoting waste recycling and protecting open space.