The GWRLT Watershed Region

GWRLT is the local land trust in the communities of the Berwicks, Eliot, Ogunquit and Wells. Did you know this region includes 6 major drainages such as the Webhannet River watershed and our namesake, the Great Works River watershed?

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Land uses greatly affect water resources, making land conservation an important component of watershed management. The soils and vegetation of forests and natural lands act as important filters and storage areas for water.

A study by the Trust for Public Lands and American Water Works Association highlights the cost effective benefits of land conservation for managing water resources. The study found that increases in forest cover in a drinking water source area resulted in decreases in treatment and chemical costs, among other benefits.

In December 2007, the New Hampshire Estuaries Project (NHEP) expanded its focus area into Maine to include the entire Great Bay Estuary watershed. In order to achieve the project goals of improving water quality and restoring habitats it was critical to include the whole watershed in the management area.

Maine makes up 24% of the Great Bay watershed, including a significant portion that is served by GWRLT. Seeing where GWRLT land conservation efforts can support the goals of the NHEP is an exciting opportunity in watershed management.

NHEP web site: www.nhep.unh.edu