Photo: Tara Rice, Downeast Magazine

History of the Watershed

The Orange River watershed, running through Rocky and Orange Lakes in Whiting, Maine,  has local cultural significance and significant habitat for native fish.

Indigenous River Route

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Whiting Maine

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Preserve History

Orange River

Textfrom Downeast Coastal Conservancy:

The Orange River Conservation Area is comprised of several separate parcels protected by Downeast Coastal Conservancy beginning in 2003. Thanks to the support of members, as of 2016 DCC has ensured that over 700 acres of land bordering Orange River, Little Lake and Roaring Lake will remain undeveloped forever. This includes over 9 miles of shoreline and 100 acres of important marsh, bog and swamp habitat.

Orange River Landing was formerly the site of a steampowered sawmill in the early 1920’s. Footings from the mill building can be seen in the bushes near the small boat launch at the end of Landing Road. The Orange River dam belongs to the State of Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Water levels are maintained to provide optimal bird nesting habitat in the hundreds of acres of wetlands across the flowage. In a previous incarnation, the dam was used to provide electricity for the town of Lubec.

Some of the properties in the Orange River Conservation Area were purchased with funds from the Small Craft Access Trust and North American Wetlands Conservation Act Funds. Protection of all of the properties was made possible by the support of DCC members and the community

Rocky Lake

Text from MCHT:

Maine Coast Heritage Trust partnered with The Conservation Fund to acquire Rocky Lake Preserve in 2017. The Conservation Fund purchased it from a developer’s heirs. It was slated for a series of subdivisions and private recreational infrastructure. Since that time, three parcels have been added, expanding the size of the preserve and its ecological impact and recreational offerings