Kennebec River

From Academic Kids

The Kennebec River is a river, 150 mi (240 km) long, in the state of Maine in the northeastern United States. It rises in Moosehead Lake in northern Maine and flows southward past the cities of Madison, Skowhegan, Waterville, the state capital Augusta, and the shipbuilding center of Bath. Near its mouth, it is joined by the Androscoggin River, at Merrymeeting Bay, a 16 mi (26 km) long freshwater, tidal bay.

The river has been of great significance in the history of the region. It was explored by Samuel de Champlain in 1604-1605. In 1607, the Popham Colony, the first English colony in New England, was founded on a site near its mouth. The river also marked the northern border of the original 1622 land patent of the Province of Maine granted to Ferdinando Gorges and John Mason. In colonial times, it was known as the Sagadahoc River. The Virginia of Sagadahoc, the first oceangoing vessel built in the New World by English-speaking shipwrights, was launched into the river. Hundreds of wooden and steel vessels have since been launched on the Kennebec, particularly in Bath, the so-called City of Ships. The sole remaining shipyard is the Bath Iron Works, one of the few yards still building warships for the United States Navy.

Prior to the industrial era, the river was prolific with runs of anadromous fish, in particular the Atlantic Salmon. The exploiting of hydroelectric power in the region reduced the runs of such fish. The removal of dams on the river has been a controversial local issue in recent years. The removal of the Edwards Dam in 1999 has led to increased anadromous activity on the river.

The river has a total drainage of 5,870 mile² (15,200 km²), and a discharge at its mouth of 5,893 million US gallons/day (258 m³/s).

See also

External links

  • MaineRivers.org (http://mainerivers.org/kennebec.htm) Kennebec River profile
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