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Boothbay Harbor Joins Other New England Coastal Communities with “No Discharge” Designation to Stem Boat Pollution

Release Date: 03/26/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – March 26, 2009) – The coastal waters of Boothbay Harbor, Maine will be protected as a “No Discharge Area,” where discharges of treated and untreated boat sewage would be prohibited.

To quality for a No Discharge designation, there must be adequate pumpout facilities where boaters can get their holding tanks pumped out. This particular area has an estimated 893 boats, of which only 458 are large enough to have a "head" or toilet on board. There are a total of six pumpout facilities in the proposed area; five are fixed shore-based facility, and the other is a pumpout boat.

This is an important milestone in EPA’s plan to designate the majority of New England waters as “No Discharge Areas.” Boothbay Harbor joins the Maine coastal waters of Casco Bay, and large areas of coastal water between New Hampshire and Connecticut which now carry the designation and require boats to use sanitary pumpout facilities. A petition requesting EPA approval of the No Discharge area was submitted by the Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection.

“Boat sewage can lead to health problems for swimmers, closed shellfish beds and the overall degradation of marine habitats,” said Ira Leighton, acting regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. “Protecting coastal waters and environments from elevated levels of bacteria and pathogens is a sound way to protect our beautiful coastal areas for all to enjoy and prosper.”

"This will put another important area of the Maine Coast into a category protected from marine discharges – a challenge given Maine's 3,500 plus mile shoreline – that EPA and Maine DEP are slowly accomplishing,” said David P. Littell, commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

Other areas in New England with No Discharge areas include: All state marine waters of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire; in Massachusetts: all coastal waters from Manchester-By-The-Sea down to Cape Cod Bay including Boston Harbor, Harwich, Waquoit Bay, Nantucket Harbor, Buzzards Bay (including Wareham and Westport); and Casco Bay, Maine.

More Information:

No Discharge Areas in New England (

EPA final determination (

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