As you’re out and about, keep an eye out for signs of pollution like oil spills, sewage discharges, and dumping. If you encounter an incident, please report it to the appropriate authority first, then share it with us as well. One of the best ways to do that is through Water Reporter. We can also be reached at 207-799-8574 or keeper [at] cascobay [dot] org. Our office is open Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5 pm.
Search and Rescue Emergencies
Contact the Coast Guard for emergencies on the Bay and search and rescue needs: 207-799-1680
Injured or Dead Animals
If you see injured birds or wildlife, keep your distance and contact the appropriate authority listed below. If the animal reacts to your presence, you are too close. Ask other people in the area to stay away, and keep dogs at a safe distance. Note the animal’s size, markings, body condition, and whether or not there are any wounds. Take a photo if you can. Note the location of the animal and any significant landmarks.
If you see a stranded or dead mammal, such as a seal pup or a whale, contact the Marine Mammals of Maine’s hotline. Follow the same instructions as above.
Marine Mammals of Maine: 1-800-532-9551
Birds and Wildlife
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, Public Information Office: 207-287-8000
Center for Wildlife: 207-361-1400
Red Tide Hotline
To find out about the latest shellfish closures, contact the Maine Department of Marine Resources’s hotline: 800-232-4733
Oil Spill Emergencies
If you see an oil spill or a sheen on the water, please call both the Coast Guard and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Coast Guard: 800-424-8802
DEP’s 24 hour Oil Spill Response Line: 800-482-0777
Then, call us at (207) 799-8574
Sewage Discharges from Boats
Casco Bay is a No Discharge Area. If you see or suspect sewage releases from boats in the Bay, contact the Bureau of Marine Patrol and DEP.
Bureau of Marine Patrol, Department of Marine Resources: 207-633-9595
The discovery of a carelessly discarded syringe can occur almost anywhere. Often times illegal drug use is associated with these syringes. Whether it is on a beach or in a city park, discarded syringes pose a threat of infection or disease.
NEVER pick up a syringe, as it can contain pathogens. This is what you should do if you encounter a discarded syringe:
- Don’t touch it.
- If it is on a beach staffed with a lifeguard, report it to him/her.
- If it is necessary to leave the location, mark it somehow for future identification.
- Call a local enforcement agency (police or town hall) and ask if they can send someone with a biohazard disposal kit and tongs; they can remove the needles and deliver them to a disposal site
- Report it to the Department of Environmental Protection at 800-482-0777.
If you are pricked by a needle, call Maine Center for Disease Control at 800-821-5821 and ask to speak to an epidemiologist.
Storm drains empty into Casco Bay. Never dump waste into storm drains. If you see a violation please report it to your City or Town Public Works or Water Quality department.
Large Debris or Other Non-Emergency Concerns
US Coast Guard Sector Northern New England is an important entity to inform if there is debris or other concerns, even when they are not an imediate emergency. The non emergency number to reach the Coast Guard is (207) 767-0302.
Cover photo: Photograph by Kevin Morris