Canoe River Aquifer, Snake River, Watson Pond, and Lake Sabbatia ACEC

Designation Date: May 1991

Canoe River ACEC Designation Document

Approximate Acreage: 17,200 acres
Watershed(s): Boston Harbor (Neponset) and Taunton
Municipalities: Easton, Foxborough, Mansfield, Norton, Sharon, and Taunton


The Canoe River Aquifer, Snake River, Watson Pond and Lake Sabbatia Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) is approximately 17,200 acres in size. It is located within the Taunton River basin in six communities. The ACEC is generally defined by the Canoe River watershed basin and the underlying aquifer, which also connects to surface and ground waters in the Mulberry Brook and Snake River basins. The Canoe River Aquifer ACEC is located adjacent to the Hockomock Swamp ACEC, which is comprised of approximately 16,950 acres.

The Canoe River Aquifer ACEC is characterized by an extensive system of surface waters, wetlands, floodplains and high-yield aquifers. The aquifers are recharged with water percolating through the permeable soils of the area and provide high-quality drinking water to over 66,000 people in four of the towns located within the ACEC. There are ten municipal wells located in the ACEC and numerous private wells that draw from the aquifers.

More than a hundred rivers, brooks, streams and creeks, and the extensive wetlands and floodplains, support a rich and diverse habitat for wildlife. The upland portions of the area are a mix of open fields, deep woods, transitional woodlands, and over a thousand acres of productive farmland and cranberry bogs. There are occurrences of rare and endangered species, as well as increasingly rare Atlantic White Cedar swamps. The open space of the ACEC also includes approximately 3500 acres of municipal and nonprofit conservation and recreational lands. Rich archaeological and historic resources date back 7000 years and include Native American settlements, national historic districts, and colonial architecture.

Water Bodies included (partially or entirely) in the ACEC

  • Rivers: Canoe River (Easton, Foxborough, Mansfield, Norton, Sharon); Little Canoe River (Foxborough, Mansfield, Sharon); Snake River (Norton, Taunton)
  • Lakes, Ponds: Fuller Hammond Reservoir, New Pond, Old Pond, Ward Pond (Easton); Beaumont Pond, Factory Pond, Greeleys Pond (Foxborough); Factory Pond, Mill Pond, Whiteville Pond (Mansfield); Red Mill Pond, Winnecunnet Pond (Norton); Harrigan Pond (Sharon); Black Pond, Lake Sabbatia, Watson Pond (Taunton) 
  • Brooks, Creeks: Beaver Brook, Mulberry Brook, Poquanticut Brook (Easton); Mulberry Meadow Brook (Norton)


Canoe River Aquifer ACEC - Index Map

Canoe River Aquifer ACEC Map 2a

Canoe River Aquifer ACEC Map 2b

Canoe River Aquifer ACEC Map 2c

Canoe River Aquifer ACEC Map 2d

Canoe River Aquifer ACEC Map 2e

Canoe River Aquifer ACEC Map 2f

Canoe River Aquifer ACEC Map 2g

Canoe River Aquifer ACEC Map 2h

Canoe River Aquifer ACEC Map 2i

Canoe River Aquifer ACEC Map 2j

Maps are intended to be used with the written boundary description contained in the ACEC designation document. The mapped boundary is not to be used by itself for definitive ACEC boundary delineation or regulatory interpretation. For review of site-specific projects in or bordering the ACEC, determinations must be made in the field by a certified professional in consultation with the appropriate Conservation Commission(s) and ACEC Program Staff.

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