Taunton Bay in coastal Hancock County includes Hog and Egypt Bays, Carrying Place Inlet to the U.S. Route 1 Bridge, and Taunton River to the protruding rock ledge at Tidal Falls, where it joins Frenchman Bay. It is bordered by the towns of Franklin, Hancock, and Sullivan and passes under U.S. Route 1 at the Hancock-Sullivan Bridge. In the past it was the site of Native American ceremonies, Christian baptisms, ship building, copper and silver mining, timber harvesting, and stone quarrying. The region is rich in history, wildlife, scenic beauty, and is the source of income for many residents of the area.
Taunton Bay and its watershed deserve protection as a self-sustaining, natural area largely unimpaired by human intervention. This still-fertile estuarine system is at the heart of an increasingly commercial sector of Maine’s scenic coast.
The watershed of recovering forests provides fresh water that mingles with the tidal flow to provide a nutrient-rich environment. Once known for its timber, mining, quarrying, and shipbuilding industries, the bay is now the focus of a rural residential community linking the towns of Hancock, Sullivan, and Franklin.
The watershed is all of the land that drains into the bay. An extensive network of waterways, it extends inland into the towns of Franklin, Hancock, and Sullivan; and parts of Eastbrook, Waltham, and Townships 9 and 10. It reaches almost to Route 179 in the northwest, and includes Donnell and Fox Ponds in the east.
The watershed straddles two focus areas of statewide ecological significance Taunton Bay and Tunk Lake. Focus Areas are landscape scale areas that contain exceptionally rich concentrations of at-risk species and natural communities. In addition, they serve as examples of high quality common natural communities, contain significant wildlife habitats, and intersect with large blocks of undeveloped habitat.