US Army Corps of Engineers
New England District

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York Harbor Navigation Project

York Harbor

York Harbor in York lies at the mouth of the York River, a small stream that empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The harbor is located about 41 miles southwest of Portland and eight miles northeast of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A popular overnight stop for transient recreational boats, York Harbor is used extensively by local lobstering, sportfishing, and recreational fleets, as well as fishing and recreational charter boats.

The original project, completed in 1894, involved widening and straightening the channel by removing part of the spit at the southwestern end of Stage Neck, which protects the inner harbor from the exposed outer harbor. The Corps also removed two shoals in the area of Bragdon Island.

The Corps has since completed two series of modifications to York Harbor. The first improvements, completed in 1905, involved:

  • Widening the natural channel east of Bragdon Island in the inner harbor to 170 feet with a depth of 10 feet; and
  • Removing a projecting shoal in the natural channel north of Bragdon Island to a depth of 10 feet.

In 1961, the Corps completed its second series of modifications in the harbor, which involved the construction of two eight-foot-deep anchorage areas. One anchorage, north of Bragdon Island, is 5.2 acres in area and averages a length of 700 feet and a width of 320 feet. The second anchorage, between Bragdon and Harris islands, is 5.6 acres in area and averages a length of 550 feet and a width of 450 feet.