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Penobscot Bay (French: Baie de Penobscot) is an inlet of the Gulf of Maine and Atlantic Ocean in south central Maine. The bay originates from the mouth of Maine's Penobscot River, downriver from Belfast. Penobscot Bay has many working waterfronts including Rockland, Rockport, and Stonington, and Belfast upriver. Penobscot Bay is between Muscongus Bay and Blue Hill Bay, just west of Acadia National Park. 11,000 years ago, at the beginning of the Holocene epoch, the Gulf of Maine's sea level fell as low as 180 feet (55 m) below its present height. Penobscot Bay was then a continuation of Penobscot River that meandered through a broad lowland extending past present day Matinicus Island.Penobscot Bay and its chief tributary, Penobscot River are named for the Penobscot Indian Nation, which has continuously inhabited the area for more than ten thousand years, fishing, hunting and shellfish gathering in and around the bay and river. A part of the Wabanaki Confederacy, the Penobscot Indian Nation's present reservation includes Indian Island, north of Orono, Maine, and all the islands of Penobscot River above it. Ancient remains of their campsites dating back millennia have been found on the bay's shores and islands. The bay was the site of a humiliating American defeat during the Revolutionary War. A Continental Navy flotilla consisting of 19 warships and 25 support vessels was dispatched on July 24 to recapture the mid-coast of Maine from the British who had captured part of the territory and constructed fortifications near the bay, naming the newly captured territory New Ireland. The American besiegers became stalled in their assaults due to dissension between Solomon Lovell and Dudley Saltonstall, two of the expeditions commanders, and after a British flotilla led by George Collier arrived on August 13, the American fleet fled, beaching and burning their ships in the face of a superior British force. All 44 ships were either destroyed or captured, in what proved to be America's worst naval defeat until Pearl Harbor, 162 years later.There are many islands in this bay, and on them, some of the country's most well-known summer colonies.
Rockland is a city in Knox County, Maine, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 7,297. It is the county seat of Knox County. The city is a popular tourist destination. It is a departure point for the Maine State Ferry Service to the islands of Penobscot Bay: Vinalhaven, North Haven and Matinicus.
Belfast is a city in Waldo County, Maine, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 6,668. Located at the mouth of the Passagassawakeag River estuary on Belfast Bay and Penobscot Bay. Belfast is the county seat of Waldo County. Its seaport has a wealth of antique architecture in several historic districts, and remains popular with tourists.
Boothbay Harbor is a town in Lincoln County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,165 at the 2010 census. During summer months, the entire Boothbay Harbor region is a popular yachting and tourist destination. The ZIP Code is 04538, and the community is served by the 633 telephone exchange in area code 207.