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Passamaquoddy Bay is an inlet of the Bay of Fundymarker, between the U.S.marker state of Mainemarker and the Canadianmarker province of New Brunswickmarker, at the mouth of the St. Croix Rivermarker. Most of the bay lies within Canadamarker, with its western shore bounded by Washington County, Mainemarker. The southernmost point is formed by West Quoddy Headmarker on the U.S. mainland in Lubec, Mainemarker; and is then bounded northeastwardly by Campobello Island, New Brunswickmarker and Deer Island, New Brunswickmarker; thence, running to shores by mainland Charlotte County, New Brunswickmarker.


The southern boundaries of the bay are sometimes confused, since Deer Island sections off the large open waters of the bay; however, the terminology of the Passamaquoddy Bay Treaty of 1910 specifies that Passamaquoddy Bay runs south of Treat Island (one of the islands that now comprise the city of Eastport, Maine), between Campobello Island and Lubec, Maine...

"Now, therefore, upon the evidence and arguments so presented, and after taking into consideration all actions, of the respective Governments and of their representatives authorized in that behalf and of the local governments on either side of the line, whether prior or subsequent to such treaties and award, tending to aid in the interpretation thereof, the High Contracting Parties hereby agree that the location of the international boundary line between the United States and the Dominion of Canada from a point in Passamaquoddy Bay accurately defined in the Treaty between Great Britain and the United State's of April 11, 1908, as, 'lying between Treat Island and Friar Head, and extending thence through Passamaquoddy Bay and to, the middle of Grand Manan Channel, shall run in a series of seven connected straight lines for the distances and in the directions as follows...."

The largest community on Passamaquoddy Bay proper is St. Andrews, New Brunswickmarker, although the twin communities of Calaismarker-St. Stephenmarker are sometimes included, despite being located on the St. Croix River. The city of Eastport, Mainemarker lies between Passamaquoddy Bay and Cobscook Bay, to the city's west. The narrow passage between Maine and Deer Island are known asWestern Passage. The passage between Eastport, Maine, and Friar Bay, Campobello Island, is known as Friar Roads.

The three entrances into Passamaquoddy Bay from the Bay of Fundy are Letete Passage northeast of Deer Island, Head Harbour Passage to the southeast of Deer Island and northwest of Campobello Island, and Quoddy Narrows, between southern Lubec, Maine, and southern Campobello Island. Running north from West Quoddy Head in Lubec, the passages known as Quoddy Narrows, Lubec Channel, Lubec Narrows, Friar Roads, and Western Passage also host the International Boundary between Canada and the United States.

The Head Harbour Passage is the deepwater entry to the Bay. The U.S. and Canadian governments agree that the passage is Canadian. The U.S. government believes that it is a territorial sea in which international law gives commercial vessels a right of passage. The Canadian government believes that it can regulate passage, and is considering doing so to prevent the use by supertankers carrying cargo to liquified natural gas plants proposed for the American coast of the bay.


After the American Revolution, Passamaquoddy Bay was the scene of a thriving smuggling trade. Smuggling peaked in 1808 during Jefferson's Embargo, when smugglers illegally moved tens of thousands of barrels of American flour from American territory into New Brunswickmarker. During the War of 1812, a thriving illicit trade in British manufactured goods existed. After the War of 1812, the primary smuggled good was gypsum from Nova Scotiamarker, which was usually deposited directly into American vessels on or near the border. Smuggling was winked at by both officials and locals in the region, who discouraged outside intervention by British or American authorities who wanted to stop or control it.

The Passamaquoddy Tidal Power Project/"Quoddy Dam" Project

A proposed development project for eastern Maine, envisioned by hydroelectric engineer Dexter Cooper, involving the construction of a tidal harness for electricity generation was initiated in 1935 under U.S. Public Works Administration funding and with the blessing of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whose summer home was on nearby Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canadamarker.

Also known as the Quoddy Project, it proposed impounding Cobscook Baymarker and part of Passamaquoddy Bay with a series of dams and control structures to exploit the resulting water level difference to generate electrical power. The electric turbines for power generation would have been located at the isthmus on Moose Island, Eastport, with the water passing between Passamaquoddy Bay and Cobscook Bay, with the "used" generating water released from impoundment at low tide.

Part of this project was completed by the construction of dikes built between Pleasant Point-Carlow Island-Moose Islandmarker. The project was suspended one year later after the United States Congress refused further funding, thus the actual barrier dams never being built. The dike barriers now underlie the former Maine Central Railroad and the current Maine Highway 190, as well as between Treat Island (in Eastport) and Dudley Island (in Lubec, Maine).

Several iterations and variations on the project later ensued, but never began construction.

See also

External links

Further reading

Joshua M. Smith, Borderland Smuggling: Patriots, Loyalists and Illicit Trade in the Northeast, 1783-1820 Gainesville, University Press of Florida, 2006.


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