Thatcher Brook Watershed Management Plan

The Thatcher Brook Watershed includes a diverse and complex mix of land uses comprised of dense residential, agricultural, public/non-profit and forested land. Approximately 2.75 square miles of the 7 square mile watershed is classified as a "regulated area".

Where is it?

Upper Thatcher Brook begins in a wetland area west of Andrews Road in Biddeford, then flows southeast across Route 111 into the Town of Arundel and then passes under the Maine Turnpike before heading northwest back into Biddeford and crossing Route 11 a second time just east of the northbound exit ramp for Exit 32 off Interstate 95.

Lower Thatcher Brook crosses the Maine Turnpike twice before finally passing under Main Street near Biddeford High School before joining the Saco River just upstream of the Saco River Dam at Saco Falls before ultimately flowing into Saco Bay.

Richardson Brook connects with Upper and Lower Thatcher Brooks to the east of the Maine Turnpike near Exit 32. One tributary to Richardson Brook begins in a large wetland complex in the southeastern portion of the watershed and crosses US Route 1 and several commercial/industrial areas prior to meeting with Richardson Brook in the vicinity of the Eastern Trail west of Morin Street.

Thatcher Brook Map

Due to water runoff from impervious cover, the Thatcher Brook Watershed has become polluted. As residents use lawn chemicals and the area continues its commercial development, pollution increases. The Thatcher Brook Watershed Management Plan is guiding action to clean up the watershed and restore stream habits.

Final Thatcher Brook Watershed Management Plan - January 7, 2015

We encourage the public to review this plan (PDF) and provide comments or suggestions to the Planning Department as we move forward into the next phase of this project. 

Thatcher Brook, surrounded by trees.

Phase 1 of the project will be complete in December 2019, and we have started Phase 2. We are looking for workgroup members to assist in furthering the implementation of the watershed management plan in Phase 2 of the grant. If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact Jennifer Harris, York County Soil and Water Conservation District Project Manager, by email or by phone at 207-324-0888 x 208. 

Why is a Watershed Management Plan important?

Effects on River

Chemicals poured down drains or put on a lawn will flush into the river. This watershed has high biodiversity and a chemical change in the water could have catastrophic consequences on aquatic life.

Effects on Ocean

Chemicals that go into the Saco River disperse into the Atlantic Ocean. Some elements, like nitrogen and phsphorous, cause harmful algae blooms in the ocean (and lakes/rivers). The Gulf of Maine is the fastest warming body of water in the world. The less stress put into the environment, the better off our ocean will be.

Ecosystem Services

Ecosystem services are benefits provided by the ecosystem, such as drinking water, fishing, boating, and swimming at the beach. We want to keep the Saco River Watershed healthy so that we can continue receiving these benefits.