Protecting the Upper Saco River | Community Spirit

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Protecting the Upper Saco River
Protecting the Upper Saco River

 

This season we are seeing progress in our efforts on the Saco River.  Our visitors are learning the rules of the river, some of them the hard way.  Overall everyone has been great and minimal issues so far.  The Saco River Recreational Council has been busy getting the staff in place and trained.  Our 12 river runners (mostly college students) go on the river Monday through Thursday to clean the river and say it hasn’t been too bad, definitely not as bad as past years.   The river runners also direct traffic and work parking areas on the weekends.  Our river runners, Nature Conservancy interns and staff are being trained to teach Leave No Trace and rules of the river. Staff are also trained and being certified aquatic courtesy boat inspectors as part of our new aquatic invasives program with the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program, DEP and Lakes Environmental Association. Staff are also checking for out of state firewood, due to invasive beetles from Mass and other NE states. It is now against the law to bring firewood into the state of Maine. 

There is great teamwork going on at the landings and the river with law enforcement and SRRC, including local canoe companies, campgrounds and education staff.  On weekends staff and law enforcement are at the landings including SRRC Conservation and Education educators and The Maine Nature Conservancy summer interns, assisting our visitors and checking for proper registrations, out of state firewood, fire permits, life vest and general trip planning assistance and Leave No Trace education.  We want the word to go out that we love for everyone to come and enjoy the Saco River, but we need everyone to plan properly, know the laws and abide by them, keep all motors and boats clean and properly registered to protect from aquatic invasive plants, do not bring firewood from out-of-state and be respectful of the environment and each other.   Manmade barges are now required to pay a $250 permit fee to put on the Saco, money will be refunded once loaded on to vehicle and removed from the river. See our website for information about our programs at www.sacorivercouncil.org  Our 6th annual Saco River Cleanup is Saturday Sept 17th. Sign up now and join a fun day cleaning the river with a cookout for all afterwards. Canoes and campsites provided for free to volunteers.