The Bagaduce Watershed Association (BWA) works to inform residents about the Bagaduce River and its surrounding lands, advocating for the protection and conservation of its natural beauty and wildlife, and the responsible use of its waters and watershed for the enjoyment of all.
The Bagaduce River flows into Penobscot Bay and its watershed extends through five towns: Penobscot, Castine, Brooksville, Sedgwick and Blue Hill. The Bagaduce watershed is located in Hancock County, part of the federally designated Downeast National Heritage Area. The Bagaduce is also designated a “Focus Area of Statewide Ecological Significance” by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife.
The BWA was formed in 1999 when a group of residents became concerned about the lack of local input into the state process for proposed aquaculture operations in the Bagaduce River.
The organization has been an advocate of efforts led by local residents to install fish ladders for alewives. The Bagaduce is now Maine’s first fully restored fish passage.
The BWA and its members were also vocal supporters of conservation efforts spearheaded by Blue Hill Heritage Trust to purchase Walamatogus Mountain in Penobscot. The mountain, known locally as “Togus,” is a sweeping landscape of blueberry barrens and pine forests at the northern end of the river’s watershed.
An all-volunteer organization, the BWA’s board of directors includes current and retired educators, environmentalists, a former journalist, and an oyster farmer, among others. The BWA is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit that relies on membership dues and donations for its programs and outreach work. The organization hosts local events with notable speakers, distributes a quarterly newsletter, and is developing educational opportunities for local students to learn about the Bagaduce River and its watershed.