AWWA News Fall 2013

MastheadAWWA has had a busy 2013 and we look forward to an equally busy and productive 2014.  We have had a change of the guard with Dustin Johnson moving on to his own business and AWWA veteran Sam Wilson taking over as Program Manager.  Click here to read about them both.

Read below and follow the links to learn more about our accomplishments in 2013:

  • AWWA partnered with the Town of Wakefield, UNH Stormwater Center, York County Soil and Water Conservation District and road associations to install the remaining recommended road repairs around Lovell, Great East and Wilson lakes to reduce pollution reaching the lakes.
  • AWWA is working closely with the Province Lake Association to develop the Province Lake Management Plan with support from the NH Department of Environmental Services and towns of Wakefield and Effingham, NH and Parsonsfield, ME. In 2013 Province Lake experienced numerous potentially toxic cyanobacteria blooms causing the State of NH to issue advisories recommending no physical contact with the water. AWWA is contributing significant match time to this essential grant project.
  • AWWA coordinated Stormwater and Septic surveys in the Province Lake watershed to identify potential pollution sources to the lake. Over 50 volunteers met with individual landowners all around the 320 lake properties to discuss septic systems and identify stormwater runoff erosion.  These surveys were compiled in reports that will be included with the Province Lake Management Plan.
  • Our YCC, made up of our technical director, crew leaders, and six local high school students, had yet another successful season by installing 101 erosion control measures on 25 project sites. Over the course of our YCC program we have installed 577 erosion controls on 148 properties resulting in an estimated pollutant load reduction to the lakes of over 301 tons of sediment and 255 pounds of phosphorus per year.
  • AWWA’s “Wonders of Water” programs were delivered to the 6th, 7th and 8th grades of Acton and Wakefield elementary schools. Hands on lessons on watersheds, biodiversity, groundwater and invasive species resulted in a 100% improvement on from pretest to post-test and the students were engaged and enthusiastic.
  • Discovery Paddles along the Salmon Falls River engaged 39 eager paddlers in the exploration of the uppermost reach of this border river. These events included water quality sampling, invasive and native aquatic plant species identification, and zooplankton sampling. The York County Invasive Aquatic Species Project partnered on two of the paddles to inspect for invasive plants which were not present.
  • Three Septic socials and one Road Social were conducted to encourage lake friendly road maintenance practices and best practices for septic systems.
  • AWWA’s efforts as a resource for the local Planning Boards has helped result in approved updated municipal stormwater management policies in Wakefield and strong efforts to do the same in Acton.
  • AWWA Executive Director Linda Schier was awarded an Environmental Merit Award by EPA Region 1 for her “persistence and devotion to water quality protection and restoration that are inspirational to those who work with her”.
  • Partnerships with local land trust organizations continued to strengthen and AWWA collaborated on a proposal to conserve a large parcel and restore a wetland.
  • www.AWwatersheds.org was revamped and is engaging as a vital and dynamic resource for individuals and organizations working to protect water resources. AWWA has a regular presence on Twitter and Facebook.

We have a lot planned for this coming year.  Here are the highlights of our activities for 2014:

  • AWWA will coordinate additional road repairs on Great East Lake, Lovell Lake and Wilson Lake.
  • Year two of the Province Lake Management Plan project will include AWWA led beach clean-ups, YCC projects, septic and road socials and project management.  AWWA will assist the Province Lake Association with its efforts to secure future funding to implement the plan after it is presented.
  • The AWWA Youth Conservation Corps and Technical Assistance programs will correct identified erosion problems throughout the AWWA region while educating the communities about the connections between land use and water quality.
  • AWWA will conduct its enhanced school programs “Wonders of Water” with the 6th, 7th and 8th grades of Acton and Wakefield elementary schools. Additional lessons for grades K-5 will be developed.
  • An Invasive Aquatic Plants workshop will be held in Acton to train volunteers from all the lakes in the AWWA region and beyond to be able to identify invaders and develop strategies for avoiding infestations.
  • A Water Quality Monitoring program will be developed in conjunction with state agencies to ensure that consistent, reliable data is collected, analyzed and presented to the local decision makers in a timely and relevant manner.
  • AWWA will continue to offer Discovery Cruises/Paddles for adults and youth to engage them in the wonders of lake ecology.  These events will include water quality sampling, invasive and native aquatic plant species identification, and zooplankton sampling.
  • AWWA will serve as a resource for the local municipal boards in their efforts to update municipal stormwater management policies and conduct natural resource inventories.
  • Partnerships with local land trust organizations will continue to strengthen and AWWA will collaborate on outreach events to encourage proactive land use practices and voluntary conservation.
  • Regular informative and interesting content will be posted on www.AWwatersheds.org and circulated via social media networks.
  • A Visitor’s Guide to Lake Friendly Practices will be completed and distributed to lake association, realtors and landlords to encourage seasonal residents to adopt lake friendly practices.
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