Whew! It has been a very busy 2015 here at AWWA and 2016 promises to be the same. Our Youth Conservation Corps worked on every lake in the AWWA region and our many facets of water quality protection continued to grow. We are grateful for the continued support of our donors and our many partners. To take a look at what we’ve done, and where we’re going, read on.
Accomplishments for 2015:
- AWWA coordinated additional road repairs on Great East Lake and partnered with the Town of Wakefield to minimize erosion on Acton Ridge Road and perform necessary maintenance on Brackett Road.
- The AWWA Youth Conservation Corps and Technical Assistance programs corrected identified erosion problems by installing 79 BMPs on 22 properties on 9 waterbodies throughout the AWWA region while educating the communities about the connections between land use and water quality. This brings the total to 756 erosion control measures on 194 project sites on 12 waterbodies.
- Technical assistance was delivered to an additional 29 residential property owners to recommend and design erosion control practices.
- On Province Lake, contractors were selected to develop the Bonnyman Road Management Plan, stormwater management and shoreline restoration plans for the two highest priority residential sites, and septic evaluations for high risk septic systems.
- AWWA’s “Landscaping for Healthy Lakes” workshop drew a crowd and resulted in the installation of two rain gardens and dripline trenches at the Greater Wakefield Resource Center. Videos of the event were broadcast widely on Wakefield’s community access television channel.
- Working directly with the owners and superintendent, AWWA is assisting the Province Lake Golf Club to meet the requirements of Audubon Sanctuary Program for golf courses.
- AWWA conducted its enhanced school programs “Wonders of Water” with the 6th, 7th and 8th grades of Acton and Wakefield elementary schools. 152 students enjoyed lessons including aquatic invasive species, biomonitoring for stream health, the importance of clean drinking water, aquatic animal adaptation and watershed science.
- A Water Quality Monitoring program was 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. In partnership with the lake associations and UNH, an intern traveled to Wakefield every two weeks all summer to sample on Horn Pond, Wilson Lake, Lovell Lake, Pine River Pond and Province Lake. The volunteer monitors on Great East handle the sampling on their own. The data collected will be presented to the community decision-makers on a regular basis to ensure planning decisions are based on sound science.
- AWWA piloted the new EPA approved “Cyanobacteria Monitoring and Bloom Watch” program on Great East, Lovell, Province and Wilson lakes to establish a dataset for cyanobacteria and algae levels.
- Presentations to the local lake associations by AWWA staff and volunteers focused on the importance of healthy water and actions individuals can take to prevent water quality decline.
- Regular informative and interesting content was posted on www.AWwatersheds.org and circulated via social media networks.
- Linda Schier was a keynote speaker at the NEAEB/NH Water & Watershed Conference with her presentation about partnerships in watershed protection.
- AWWA continues to serve as a resource for the local municipal boards in their efforts to update municipal stormwater management policies and plan development with water quality in mind.
Tasks for 2016:
Province Lake Watershed Management Plan Implementation Phases 1 & 2:
- Funding for this project, in part, was provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. The funding is administered by the NH Department of Environmental Services in partnership with EPA. EPA does not endorse any commercial products or services mentioned.
- AWWA was awarded an additional NH Watershed Assistance grant for 2016-2017 to address septic system upgrades for campgrounds, additional work on the Province Lake Golf course, residential erosion control, installation of recommended road repairs on Bonnyman Road, and outreach activities throughout the watershed.
- Paper and online versions of a residential property self-assessment quiz were developed and will be presented to the Province Lake watershed landowners to educate about connections between land use and water quality, encourage lake-friendly practices and self-identification for AWWA technical assistance.
- Six additional YCC project sites will be identified and remediated with erosion control features.
- Findings and recommendations for erosion control along Route 153 will be presented in a public forum for residents and both state DOTs in summer 2016.
- Recommendations from the residential Stormwater Management & Shoreline Restoration plan for the two highest priority residential sites will be installed.
- At least two of the Best Management Practices recommended in the Bonnyman Road Management Plan will be installed by the towns of Effingham and/or Wakefield.
- In collaboration with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and regional land trusts, AWWA has scheduled a forest management workshop in the spring of 2016 to provide large parcel landowners in the Province Lake watershed with options for managing their land to enhance the water quality in Province Lake.
Great East and Wilson Implementation – Phase 2 Maine:
- Funding for this project, in part, was provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. The funding is administered by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in partnership with EPA. EPA does not endorse any commercial products or services mentioned.
- Septic surveys will be distributed to all shoreland property owners on Great East and Wilson lakes with a valuable incentive for participation. The surveys are designed to collect information about the age of systems and maintenance practices and will include educational information about healthy systems. AWWA will produce Septic Survey reports using the analyzed data to determine where septic outreach and potential cost-share funds for improvements to malfunctioning systems are needed.
- Five additional YCC project sites will be identified and remediated with erosion control features.
- The students of the Wakefield and Acton schools will again participate in hands-on activities designed to open their minds to the Wonders of Water and encourage inquiry into their relationship with the natural world.
- Technical assistance will be available for any watershed resident and the YCC will continue to be a resource for anyone with erosion issues affecting the water quality of the region’s lakes, ponds, rivers and streams.
- AWWA will continue to work closely with the town highway departments to ensure stormwater management along the region’s roadways continues to be a priority at the town level.
- Inspection and maintenance recommendations for the YCC installed erosion control features is an ongoing effort at AWWA. AWWA’s Program Manager visits each site addressed within the past five years, documents its effectiveness and makes any necessary recommendations to the landowner.
- Using print, web-based and social media, AWWA will provide relevant, engaging and useful clean water information to its constituents on a regular basis.
- The Lake Host program continues to be the first line of defense again new invasive aquatic plant infestations and AWWA assists five local associations with their pro-active programs.
- Strengthening partnerships within the conservation community continues to be a priority for AWWA. Regular attendance and presentations at conferences and workshops will keep AWWA’s staff and volunteers informed and effective.
- Water quality monitoring efforts will continue to strengthen so that all the community stakeholders have current, consistent data analysis to drive informed decision-making related to water quality.
Special Thanks to Our Generous Sponsors for 2015:
Adelard and Valeda Roy Foundation
Alden N. Young Trust
Jane B Cook 1983 Charitable Trust
Town of Wakefield, NH
Town of Acton, ME
And all of our very generous individual donors. YOU!!