Hello All.

We have been receiving wonderful feedback from everyone on the blog and we appreciate your taking the time the read about our adventures this winter.  We are now less than a week away from the official beginning of Spring!  As many of you know, from either living in New Hampshire/Maine or visiting this time of year, it tends to get a little yucky out here, and this year is no exception…its MUD SEASON!

This year has been special so far as we actually had a solid snow pack and then the culmination of a few 50°F days followed by some torrential rain = sloppy!  With this in mind, and having a pretty busy middle of March at AWWA, I have been unable to get out into our watersheds to bring the winter wilderness to you.  Which is OK because as many of you may know, my dog Gunnar has a knack for getting very very dirty this time of year!

Despite not being out in the woods, we are staying plenty busy here at AWWA, and thankfully, it is not all in the office!  This week we have covered a wide range of activities that begin to hint that summer is just around the corner.  On Monday we met with the Wakefield Conservation Commission and will be helping out with the Wakefield Natural Resources Inventory project set to begin this spring.

We had our Great East Lake and Wilson Lake Steering Committee Meeting in Acton on Tuesday to go over all the road projects that were installed on Langley Shores Drive, Eagle Road, Hawk Road, and Abbott Road as well as the planned implementation of several more fixes on these roads.  Related to this are a whole bunch of projects planned for the Maine side of Great East Lake and Wilson Lake, and I would love to hear from anyone on those lakes who may like a Technical Assistance visit this spring or summer!

We had a conference call on Wednesday to follow up on AWWA’s continued work to develop a comprehensive water quality monitoring plan and program for our waterbodies.  This discussion includes NH DES Watershed Assistance and Volunteer Lake Assessment Programs (VLAP), ME DEP, UNH Lakes Lay Monitoring Program, the Maine Volunteer Lakes Monitoring Program (VLMP) and all the volunteer monitors and lake associations.

Today was a fun day for me as I was asked to come to the Paul School in Wakefield for a presentation that is outside the normal AWWA in the Classroom program.  With my background in earth sciences and the Paul School “Reading Rocks” program, I got asked to talk to the entire 7th and 8th grade classes about a bunch of the beautiful, neat, unexplained, and amazing geologic features around the world.  The students were fully engaged, and you could tell because I was actually getting “ooohs” and “aaahhhs” from them as they saw the pictures of some of these features.  Included in the talk, but not limited to, were a  few of my favorites below:

“The Wave” – a sandstone formation on the Arizona/Utah border,

“The Blue Hole” – a submarine sink hole off the coast of Belize, and, my personal and all time favorite

“The Cave of Giants” – a gypsum crystal filled cave in Mexico.  I am hoping I created a few geology buffs after today’s talks!

To round out this week, I will be presenting in Laconia, NH tomorrow.  “Protecting Your Lakes Workshop: Unique Tools to Protect and Restore Water Quality” is sponsored by the Portland and Portsmouth based environmental consulting firm, FB Environmental and is set up to educate a wide variety of folks about water quality, protection, and restoration.  I will be talking about our YCC program, primarily how it works, how it is funded, and the work that we have done over the last 7 years.

Next week marks what I like to call “The End of the Slow Season”.  We plan to attend both the Maine Water Conference and New Hampshire Water Conference on Tuesday and Friday, respectively.  These conferences are always held at the end March and usher in April.  They are wonderful ways to round out the winter, gather a bunch of new information, and network with all the people working in similar field as AWWA.

Things begin to pick up speed in April as the snow melts and snowbirds begin their slow return.  This year we have a lot ahead with our YCC program, the Province Lake Watershed Management Plan project, more work along Brackett Road, school programs, paddling programs, Clean Lakes Campaign workshop in June and outreach to the lake associations. Stay tuned for the latest info.

So, you can see that we do stay busy with other fun stuff, although I still love tromping around the watershed woods looking for neat features!  I hope to return periodically to the woods through spring and summer as things dry out and bring you more great views from your watersheds.  Until then, stay tuned for updates and news from all over our watersheds and Thank You for your support!