The Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance, a non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization established in 2005, is dedicated to protecting and restoring the water quality of the lakes, ponds, rivers and streams of Wakefield, New Hampshire and the border region of Acton, Maine. AWWA staff members and volunteers work within the communities to strengthen the understanding that what happens on land determines the health of the local waters. Healthy waterbodies provide essential benefits to our communities as a natural resource, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunity and economic engine.
AWWA staff oversees the YCC and pollution control projects while also actively promoting water resource awareness in the communities. We offer workshops, teach in the local schools, work with the town boards, present at local lake association meetings, and staff informational displays and activities at community events.
The AWWA Watersheds
The AWWA region includes the watersheds of Province Lake, Belleau Lake, Balch Lake, Pine River Pond, Sandy Pond, Woodman Lake (Saco River watershed) Lake Ivanhoe, Great East Lake, Horn Pond, Wilson Lake, Lovell Lake (Salmon Falls River watershed) and their tributaries.
How does AWWA help?
The AWWA Youth Conservation Corps began tackling small scale erosion problems in the summer of 2006 and continue their work through an eight week season. These projects have stopped an estimated 390 tons of sediment per year and 335 pounds of phosphorus per year from entering Wakefield and Acton lakes. In addition, the AWWA Program Manager has conducted a total of 498 technical assistance visits.
Due to the success of the AWWA YCC, AWWA staff and board members have been invited to share their YCC model and other projects with presentations at the NH Lakes Congress, the Green Mountain Conservation Group Watershed Weekend, the Maine Lakes Conservancy Institute Lake Science Academy, the Maine Congress of Lake Associations conference, the Chicago Lakes Conference, State of the Estuaries Conference, Maine Water Conference, New England Chapter of the North American Lakes Management Society Conference, and the NH Watershed Conference.
In 2008 AWWA was awarded a NH DES Watershed Assistance grant to develop a watershed-based management plan (WBMP) for the headwaters of the Salmon Falls River. The WBMP describes the present conditions, predicts future conditions and offers recommendations to preserve the high quality water status of all the lakes and ponds of the region. The two-year project includes analysis of all water quality data, on-the-ground volunteer watershed surveys, reviews of all existing regulations and Master Plans, and land use modeling. AWWA has since used the plan to provide the communities, lake associations and other stakeholder groups with a useful, timely and relevant tool to prevent degradation of the water quality and to protect property values.
AWWA is committed to spreading the word about watershed protection and how YOU can help reduce the effects of erosion and other non-point source pollution. Explore the website and don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance, with concerns or suggestions.
All AWWA projects have been made possible by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the Town of Wakefield, the Town of Acton, and our many other generous partners for the opportunity to continue improving these amazing communities.