Maine’s MidCoast & Islands region spans from Brunswick (30 min north of Portland), northeast along the coast to the town of Searsport, with quintessential seaside towns like Harpswell, Boothbay, Rockland, and Camden in between. Explore the treasure trove that is MidCoast Maine by visiting each of the region’s premiere oyster destinations: the New Meadows River, Robinhood Cove, and the Damariscotta River.
Oyster Hot Spots in this region
New Meadows River
An undiscovered oyster oasis cared for by a tight-knit community of farmers
The New Meadows is a tidal inlet that stretches 12 miles from the Brunswick – West Bath town line to the outer peninsulas of Harpswell and Phippsburg, where it meets the eastern end of Casco Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. In recent years, the river has become a popular destination for growing oysters, with a group of 12 farmers forming the New Meadows River Shellfish Cooperative in 2020. The co-op’s mission is to “collaboratively grow the highest-quality shellfish on locally-owned family farms that promote ecological sustainability while respecting the shared usage of the New Meadows River Region.”
Local fishermen have turned to oyster farming to sustain their working waterfront & way of life
For over 6,000 years, Georgetown Island has been blessed with temperate estuaries that contained ancient, natural populations of shellfish including oysters. Through aquaculture, these legendary oysters have been reborn in Robinhood Cove by the Georgetown Island Oyster Cooperative. The coop was established by community members and fishermen looking to aquaculture as a means to diversify the coastal economy, which is highly dependent on lobster fishing. Robinhood Cove Oysters feature a delicate and uniquely rare flavor balance of “not too sweet and not too briny” that continues to win acclaim from customers and restaurateurs at home and abroad.
The oyster capital of Maine, and the start of it all
Known as the “Napa Valley of Oysters,” the Damariscotta River is the beating heart of Maine’s oyster industry. Eighty percent of all Maine oysters are harvested from this river. The oldest operating oyster farms in our state are located along the Damariscotta, which stretches 12 miles from the Newcastle/Damariscotta town line to the Atlantic Ocean. The word Damariscotta (pronounced DAM-RIS-COTTA), is an Abenaki word that means “a place of many fish.” Technically an estuary (a place where fresh and saltwater meet), the river experiences significant tidal flows that range as much as eleven feet. Flourishing in these unique conditions, Damariscotta oysters have come to build a world-class reputation of their own.