Healthy Rivers Ogunquit

At A Glance


Ogunquit, Maine

Primary Issue Area:

  • Environmental Health
  • Land & Water

Active since:


Tax Status:

  • Ogunquit Beach Cleanup Participants
  • Student volunteers paint storm drains
  • Citizen scientists pose with the crabs they caught for a population survey
  • HeRO volunteers share a poster they created for the Ogunquit Native Plant Fair
  • Dogs show off their Canines for Clean Water bandanas

Our Purpose

Our purpose is to protect the Ogunquit and Josias Rivers, which face pressure from development, tourism, agriculture, aging infrastructure, and invasive species in this coastal community. We believe that our rivers, streams, and estuary should hold diverse and abundant life, and be safe for swimming, fishing, and harvesting shellfish. They should be protected for their inherent value and celebrated for the essential ecosystem services they can provide. At this time, however, the Maine DEP’s Integrated Water Quality Report lists both the Ogunquit River and Ogunquit's Riverside Beach as impaired by enterocci (fecal) bacteria. We formed Healthy Rivers Ogunquit (HeRO) in 2021 to provide a means for community participation in activities that directly benefit the river and/or lead to greater awareness of the issues that affect it. HeRO's volunteer-driven teams work to reduce the pollutants entering our rivers from stormwater runoff, lawn chemicals, automobile leaks and spills, faulty septic and sewer systems, animal waste, and plain-old trash. We teach river-friendly land practices and plant trees and shrubs to filter polluted runoff. We sponsor beach and river cleanups and monitor the condition of our local waterways. We encourage our neighbors and educate our visitors because we believe we can do better, together.