Portland Casco Bay National Estuary

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Casco Bay is both a working port and a vital estuary. An estuary is a place where rivers and tides converge and marine life thrives in this ecosystem. Casco Bay is a National Estuary under the Clean Water Act which is overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency.


Perhaps not the most scenic waterfront I’ve ever seen, there is a lot of natural beauty here mixed with gritty fishing industry and oil tankers. The Eastern promenade, which winds along the bay, is nice for a stroll. There are plenty of walkers, joggers and bicyclists enjoying the outdoors here.


The relative calm and quiet in Casco Bay makes it ideal for kayaking and paddle boarding. We really enjoyed our sunset tour with Portland Paddle Company and our guide Kalla. It was hard work, but not so tough that out-of-shape-me and my 13-year-old couldn’t manage.


First we paddled over to an old railroad bridge and saw some nesting ospreys.


Next we went out to an island in the bay where we saw some seals and lots of sea birds.


There are over 700 small islands, called the Calendar Islands, in Casco Bay.


Then we coasted back to shore to enjoy the glorious sunset.

At this point we were starving and didn’t want to wait to be seated somewhere. We stumbled back towards the main part of town and into the first promising restaurant we saw: DiMillo’s on the Water. The restaurant is a big ship at the end of the pier… prime location, lots of tables, we didn’t wait long to be seated.
To see my other Portland posts, click on the links:

Location: Portland, Maine

Designation:  National Estuary

Date designation declared: 1987

Date of my visit: 8/18/2015



12 thoughts on “Portland Casco Bay National Estuary

  1. The combination of estuary and working port is fascinating to me – a not-so-delicate balance of man and nature. Visiting the state of Maine – and all of New England – is on my bucket list, so I appreciate a specific recommendation like this one.

  2. Pingback: Portland: Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company and Museum – National Parks USA

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