Penobscot Riverkeepers

Each year the Penobscot River and Bay Institute (PRBI) offers on-the-river experiences for school children throughout the Penobscot River watershed as part of its Penobscot Riverkeepers program.

Founded in 1992 to promote experiential environmental education, PRBI’s mission is to foster good stewardship of natural resources through hands-on learning. PRBI serves towns and schools in the Penobscot River watershed and coastal communities surrounding the bay. The Penobscot Riverkeepers program has been successfully used in Bangor, Millinocket, Lincoln, and Bucksport.

Penobscot Riverkeeper Goals:

  • Help students gain an understanding of the complex linkage between people and water quality.
  • Show students how their actions affect the environment and what they can do to make change happen.
  • Teach students how to observe and interpret the physical world as a process of decision making.
  • Devise new strategies to encourage students as stewards of the river
  • Work with teachers to make curricula more effective.
  • Collaborate with state agencies, local communities, industry, salmon clubs, and civic organizations to provide expertise on a variety of water-related topics.

Penobscot Riverkeeper Curricula:
Curricula have been developed around the theme of rivers in Maine. These curricula can be used to prepare students for going out on the river, during paddling expeditions, and in the classroom after paddling. Topics currently available are:

  • The River Through Time (natural history and evolution of rivers).
  • Native Americans in Maine (why rivers were important for culture, trade, and sustenance).
  • Logging History on the Rivers (Maine first economic boom and running logs on the river).

In addition oral historians take part in expeditions and land activities on a regular basis.

For additional information on Penobscot Riverkeepers contact John Peckenham at