The North Coastal Watershed is a study in contrasts. The northern
reaches of the North Coastal Watershed includes the southern tier
of Hampton and the Seabrook saltmarsh complex, while further south,
the Watershed is dominated by the rocky shores of Cape Ann, which
provides the most distinctive rocky coastline in all of Massachusetts.
The southern reach of the Watershed consists of an irregular coastline
of rocky peninsulas, interspersed with embayments, pockets of salt
marsh and vibrant estuaries. Offshore, the Watershed is complemented
by numerous islands, ranging in size from small rocky outcroppings,
to larger multi-acre sanctuaries.
The Watershed Action Plan
The North Coastal Watersheds Five-year Watershed Action Plan
was completed on June 30, 2004. The Watershed Action Plan outlines the priorities
of the NCW Watershed Team through 2009. It is available in three formats:
on-line (HTML); PDF; and MS-Word. Click below for all three.
- The North Coastal Watershed has a total drainage area of approximately
168 square miles, and encompasses all or part of 5 river sub-basins,
including: the Danvers, Essex, Saugus, Pines, and Annisquam Rivers.
It also includes numerous lakes and ponds, totaling approximately
- The North Coastal also encompasses all or part of 26 Massachusetts
municipalities, and supports a population of approximately 500,000
- The dominant resources within the region include a major lobster
fishery within the ports of Gloucester, Rockport, Saugus, Lynn
and Beverly-Salem Harbors, along with shell fishing, which remains
a major commercial and recreational activity particularly within
upper North Shore communities of Essex and Gloucester.
Watershed Action Plan - PDF and DOC Version