Sucker Brook Watershed

Sucker Brook is a small tributary to the Penobscot River located in Hampden and Bangor, Maine, at just under three miles in length. Despite its size, the Sucker Brook watershed covers an area of about three-square miles with approximately 25% impervious cover, such as roads, buildings, and parking lots, that hinder water absorption into the ground. This high level of impervious cover can impact water quality in the stream. In 2018, Sucker Brook was designated an "urban impaired stream" by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, falling short of meeting water quality standards set by the Clean Water Act, specifically regarding dissolved oxygen and aquatic life.

The leading cause of these problems is stormwater runoff associated with impervious cover, including the heavily traveled I-95 and I-395 highways and developed areas in the southern portion of the watershed. There is also the potential for further development in open space areas which could cause further degradation of the water quality in Sucker Brook. For more information, see the MDEP assessment at:

The Town of Hampden has already taken action to improve the health of Sucker Brook. In 2014, they collaborated with the City of Bangor on a Stream Corridor and Watershed Survey, providing a comprehensive overview of the stream conditions and potential areas for improvement. For more information, see the survey at:

In 2022, the Town again collaborated with Bangor to conduct a geomorphic assessment of Sucker Brook. The geomorphic assessment identifies potential physical impacts in the stream that might be contributing to the impairment, and what restoration measures might be undertaken to improve conditions so the stream. The Town’s goal is to improve water quality in Sucker Brook so that it can be removed from the State’s list of impaired waters. The Town also hosts clean-up events, stencils clean water messages near storm drains to educate residents, and funds targeted stormwater mitigation projects in the Sucker Brook watershed using a Compensation Fee Utilization Plan (CFUP).


As part of their municipal Stormwater Program focusing on Sucker Brook, the Town will take further steps over the next five years, including providing information and annual training for the Town Council, monitoring the water quality, and completing of at least one structural project to improve water quality in the stream. The Town will update this website regularly to reflect progress and provide current information on the health of Sucker Brook.


If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact: