SOS Camp Ellis...
An Organization Dedicated to Preserving Saco Bay
S.O.S. is an organization formed in July, 1991. The original meeting was held at what was then the Camp Ellis Fire Barn located on North Ave. at Camp Ellis in Saco, Maine. Property owners, people who rent in the summer months, local businesses and local fishermen were all in attendance.
The purpose of our organization is to address the ongoing erosion problems we have here at Camp Ellis & Ferry Beach. Since organizing in 1991 the problems now affect the whole of Saco Bay. Because of the problems here at the jetty, sand is going north to Pine Point and clogs up the Scarborough River. It also affects the opening at Goose Fair Brook, which divides the town of Old Orchard Beach & the City of Saco.
It is our contention that the breakwater at the Saco River, a/k/a "The Jetty", has caused accelerated erosion in the area. The erosion is moving down the beach toward Bay View. We understand there's nothing we can do to fight "Mother Nature", however we at S.O.S. feel this is a "man made" problem. The jetty was built with the technology of the late 1800's. We are asking the Army Corps of Engineers to correct the situation with the technology of the 2000's.
Since the beginning of our organization in 1991 we have had help on the State and Federal levels. We now have the City of Saco completely behind us to have the Army Corps of Engineers correct the problem they created many years ago. What it boils down to is the Army Corps. of Engineers doesn't want to correct the problem they created. The jetty has caused much erosion especially since around 1958 when it was modified, made longer, etc. We are trying to have the Corps modify the jetty to alleviate accelerated erosion here in Saco Bay. It has been learned that the Army Corps of Engineers was the defendant in a lawsuit in Florida for a very similar problem to ours and they lost the suit.
We also now have two local Commissions dealing with the problem. One includes Saco, Old Orchard Beach and Scarborough. That commission has presented a plan in which all three towns have agreed to and has been sent to the state. The other Commission addresses the problems here at the Camp Ellis/Ferry Beach area.
Our organization has around 400 members but with extended families, etc., actual membership is significantly higher. Our members include people who come to our area in the summer for vacation, business owners, property owners both year-round residents and those who have property for seasonal use. They also include people who have been coming generations who rent in this area. Many seasonal owners have made the move and have come to our area to live permanently.
We are an organization dedicated to preserving Saco Bay.