Nonpoint Source Priority Watersheds List

The purpose of the list is to encourage NPS abatement work in watersheds most vulnerable to NPS pollution. The list is used to help prioritize DEP NPS water pollution control efforts and attract local communities to take action to restore or protect waters impaired or threatened by NPS pollution. The NPS priority watersheds list is a part of the Maine NPS Management Plan, and subsequent amendments to the list are available below.

Watersheds were evaluated using several guiding principles.

  • NPS priority waters must have NPS pollution as the primary source of impairment or threat.
  • Watersheds were evaluated for the likelihood that NPS grant funds and support could make a difference in the water quality.
  • The number of NPS priority watersheds was kept reasonably focused so that resources can be invested where they are most needed and there is opportunity to effectively restore or protect waters vulnerable to NPS pollution.

Outlines of specific lake, stream, and marine watershed prioritization criteria are available in a decision tree format.

A more detailed description of the criteria is available in Appendix 2 of the NPS Management Plan.

Please note that the use of the term, ‘threatened’, in the NPS Management Plan and NPS Priority Watersheds Lists refers to unimpaired waters that are subject to potential impacts from NPS pollution. The term is not intended to be used as described in Maine’s Integrated Report, where waters are listed as ‘threatened’ for Clean Water Act Section 303(d) listing purposes if those waters are anticipated to fall into non-attainment within the next listing cycle of two years.

Current NPS Priority Watershed Lists:

Lake NPS Priority Watersheds List
Stream NPS Priority Watersheds List
Marine Waters NPS Priority Watersheds List

Organizations and individuals have an opportunity to submit requests and supporting documentation for watersheds to be added or removed from the priority lists. For information about the public input opportunity or any other questions pertaining to the priority list, contact Kristin Feindel 207-215-3461.