Published On: September 7th, 2022

Saco Headwaters Watershed Survey: Protection Priorities

Dear Municipal Leaders,

This survey is an invitation to the selectmen and members of planning boards, conservation commissions, zoning boards, budget committees and other areas of town management of the municipalities within our shared ecosystem, the Saco Headwaters Watershed.

We ask for a few minutes of your time to help our organizations better understand the ways we can collaborate with you and support you as we pursue the shared objective of protecting groundwater, surface waters and all of the natural resources that provide immeasurable value to our local economies and to the quality of life of the people we serve. Our healthy natural resources are the foundation of our robust economy and vibrant communities and are critical to protect for the future resilience of the entire Saco Headwaters Watershed.

The following survey asks you to reflect on the challenges you face as policy makers, for your assessment of the greatest threats to your town’s natural resources, and for your perspective on the most effective strategies for protecting your community’s land, water, forests and wildlife. Your input will help us shape future programs and services to support municipal leaders and citizens as they work to protect natural resources.

Thank you so much for your time and insights. We will share our findings with you and look forward to working you and your community to ensure essential natural resources are protected for future generations. Please contact with any questions. Please be sure to share this survey link with everyone on your town boards. The survey will close on October 1, 2022. Thank you!


Matt Howe, Executive Director Green Mountain Conservation Group (
Tara Schroeder, Education Coordinator Green Mountain Conservation Group (
Tom Gross, President Saco Headwaters Alliance (


The Collaboration between Green Mountain Conservation Group (GMCG) and Saco Headwaters Alliance (SHA)

The Green Mountain Conservation Group (GMCG) and the Saco Headwaters Alliance (SHA) share the mission of protecting the ground and surface waters of the Saco Headwaters Watershed. Our vision for the watershed includes a healthy ecosystem of forests, wetlands, plants and animals that is resilient and sustains future generations with a robust economy and vibrant communities.
The Saco Headwaters Watershed is 1200+ sq. miles (see map on next page) includes 50 towns in New Hampshire and Maine. All ground and surface waters in these towns are interconnected, flowing ultimately to the Saco River.
GMCG and SHA support all the municipalities of the Saco Headwaters Watershed. Since its inception 25 years ago GMCG has focused on protecting the Ossipee Aquifer and the lakes, rivers, and streams which all flow into the Saco River. GMCG’s programs include R.E.A.L: Research of water quality in Ossipee Lake and its tributaries, ground water, and stream crossings assessments; Education for communities about natural resources for the public and local schools; Advocacy for critical resources that are threatened; and Land conservation to protect those resources for the future.
Since its inception three years ago, SHA has focused on protecting the ground and surface waters of the entire Saco Headwaters Watershed. SHA’s programs include: an assessment of the water quality monitoring across the Saco Headwaters Watershed; watershed planning and threat analyses; culvert infrastructure modernization in the face of the increasing severity and frequency of damaging floods; municipal leader education; and catalyzing fund raising for building resilience such as riverbank erosion restoration and related topics.