Camp Ellis, an oceanfront Saco neighborhood north of the mouth of the Saco River
Camp Ellis, an oceanfront Saco neighborhood north of the mouth of the Saco River, is built on sand that has been steadily eroding. Mayor Mark Johnston favors buying out waterfront property owners and letting the sea and shore regain their natural balance. He says the ocean is coming in at the rate of three to five feet a year, and nothing can be done to save the homes, many of which have been lost to the sea. Saco residents support Johnston, but most Camp Ellis residents, including a group called Save Our Shores, does not. They want a seawall erected to protect Eastern Avenue, which is regularly flooded. The Army Corps of Engineers built a breakwater in 1867 and later lengthened it, cutting off Camp Ellis from a steady supply of replenishing sand from the Saco River. The Army finally admitted last year that the breakwater had contributed to the erosion problem, but it also concluded that remediation would cost more than the total assessed value of Camp Ellis. Incredibly, people continue to buy houses there.
Camp Ellis, Erosion
Clark, Jeff, "Camp Ellis, an oceanfront Saco neighborhood north of the mouth of the Saco River" (1996). Maine News Index - Down East Magazine. 2030.