2021 Source to Sea Grant Recipient Joe Klementovich will travel the Saco [sakohki] River through the ancestral lands of the Abenaki and Wabanaki in early June.

About the Trip:

By 1800 17 sawmills stood at Saco Falls. In 1820 a canal was completed cutting off 16 miles of river. In 1825 the country’s largest cotton mill was operating at Saco Falls. Since colonial times the Saco River has been seen only for its industrial value. Cities were built with their backs to the river, using it only for a power source and a dump.

The Saco River is much more than that, it is home to 4 exemplary natural communities, 22 rare species, and supplies water to ¼ million people from 35 towns.

Photojournalist Joe Klementovich will tell the story of the Saco River by tracing it from source to sea, the slopes of the northeast’s highest peak 136 miles downriver to the Gulf of Maine. Along the way, he will be filming, photographing, and gathering thoughts and perspectives from people connected to this vast and important waterway.

Traveling on paddleboards, Joe will pass through mountains, floodplains, farmlands, and estuaries focusing on the natural beauty and the people that are so dependent on the water that connects and flows through the Saco River.

About: Joe Klementovich

Photographer| Videographer |Storyteller

Joe tells stories where people and the environment come together.

He creates authentic photography for editorial and commercial clients in unique and difficult locations. Photographs from assignments in the sub-zero ravines of New Hampshire’s Mount Washington to the bug-infested mangrove islands of the Florida Everglades fly fishing for tarpon have appeared in print nationally. His work has been the cornerstone of large national ad campaigns for Mission Athlete and Voltaic Systems and Sterling Rope. His photojournalist background works well with commercial clients committed to real storytelling. His freelance career includes working with The New York Times, Boy’s Life Magazine, Fly Fisherman, and many others that place a premium on capturing real people, places, and the stories they tell.

Mountains, rivers, and oceans have always played an important part in his work. Joe’s connection and love of the outdoors has lead him to photography & video projects with New Hampshire Public Television on their “Windows to the Wild” television series, The Nature Conservancy, and Adventure Scientists in their work to explore, protect and promote our environment. “Being close to the mountains, forests, and oceans of New Hampshire has given me a constant source of inspiration and ever-changing backdrop for my photography”.

He migrated north to the White Mountains of New Hampshire to pursue rock and ice climbing after graduating with an engineering degree from The University of New Hampshire. Traveling on various climbing adventures with a small point-and-shoot camera got him hooked on creating better and better photography to tell the stories of each outing. It was during an 11-hour ascent of the Regular Route on Half Dome in Yosemite Valley that photography would overtake my interest in engineering.

You can look for him in the mountains, forests, rivers, and oceans searching for another story to tell or image to create.

Read more about his Source to Sea Grant project on the Saco River on our grant recipient project page and you can view his work on his website.