Watershed Based Management plan in the works for North Pond, part 1

Submitted by Jodie Mosher-Towle

The North Pond Association (NPA) recently hired Jennifer Jespersen, owner of Ecological Instincts (EcoInstincts), to prepare a grant on the association’s behalf to help fund a Watershed Based Management Plan (WBMP). The WBMP is a requirement for impaired lakes to be eligible for state/federal section 319 grant funding. The good news is that Maine DEP issues a competitive grant process each spring to fund one to two WBMPs statewide, and North Pond is eligible for these funds because it is on the Watch List and expected to be listed as impaired next spring.

The request for applications (RFA) was released on March 10th and required a 25 percent match which the NPA is providing. Local support from project partners will be needed to undertake this effort, and volunteers will be needed to serve on the Steering Committee. We will learn a lot about our lake and watershed as a result of this work with the goal of restoring water quality.

In 2016/2017 the NPA hired the same company to do the first ever watershed shoreline survey on North Pond where each property was numbered and deemed low, medium or high impact depending on the level of buffering or lack thereof on each property. A band of volunteers walked the perimeter of the lake and gathered information from shorefront property owners who opted to allow their shore fronts to be photographed. Based on months of data collection, EcoInstincts created North Pond’s Watershed-Based Protection Plan, which can be found on their website: www.northpondmaine.org.

Property owners whose shorelines were at medium or high levels were sent a notification in the mail sharing the findings and information on how they could make improvements for the sake of the lake. It is believed stormwater runoff into lakes is a major cause of nutrient overloading which in turn causes algal blooms. (More about making improvements to your shoreline in Part 2 next month.)

Following the severe algal blooms in North Pond in 2018 and 2020, the DEP added North Pond to their internal “Watch List.” The watch list is created for lakes that are on the cusp of being listed as impaired due to changes in water quality and/or experiencing nuisance algal blooms. As stated before, North Pond is expected to be added to the impaired lakes list in the Spring of 2022. Impaired lakes are lakes that are not meeting state/federal water quality standards due to nonpoint source pollution.

This opens the door for federal and state funding opportunities to help fund a Watershed-Based Management Plan (WBMP). The WBMP takes the planning effort to a new level which will help us to better understand the causes of the recent algal blooms. The plan development process will include a scientific assessment of the watershed (watershed modeling, water quality sampling, water quality analysis), to better define how much phosphorus is getting to the lake and what management measures are needed to prevent future algal blooms, improve water quality and get the lake back in balance.

EcoInstincts is developing this plan and is in the process of gathering all of the data necessary to complete it. The NPA must come up with a percentage of matching funds, monetary and in-kind, to help fund the WBMP. Once this is successfully written and accepted by the DEP, the NPA is eligible for 319 grant funding which would cover ongoing water quality data collection by volunteers of the NPA and Dr. Danielle Wain, of 7 Lakes Alliance, Dr. Whitney King and Colby College students, as well as members of the NPA’s Science Committee.

Since the 2016 survey, the NPA and 7 Lakes Alliance were awarded state and federal funding through two 319 grants and began addressing problems identified during the watershed survey. There are erosion control improvement projects happening this summer in Rome, Mercer and Smithfield, the towns around North Pond.

If you have a property you think may qualify for erosion control improvements, you are able to price match or give your time, and you live in Rome, Mercer or Smithfield, call 7 Lakes Alliance at 495-6039 and ask for Charlie Baeder.

Once the required nine elements for the Watershed Based Management Plan are collected and satisfied, then analysis of the data will occur. The NPA is working with the specialist in this field who has helped many lakes in Maine and around the world, Dr. Ken Wagner. Then, and only then, can any type of water quality remediation be considered for North Pond. The North Pond Association membership and all shorefront property owners will be asked to donate 2 percent of their camp’s tax assessed values to help raise the expected amount of over $1 million dollars to have any remediation executed as soon as possible. Fundraising for any remediation will begin once a plan is established.

The North Pond Association welcomes any and all to join them as members at www.northpondmaine.org where you will see “DONATE” on the upper right hand side of your screen. You may also find more information about the North Pond Association on their Facebook page.

FISHY PHOTOS: Brother & Sister Act

Hunter Hallee, left, 14, of Rome, displays the nice brown trout he caught while fishing with his maternal grandfather, Terry Greenleaf, of Oakland, and his sister, Megan Hallee, 11, displays her own brown trout. They were fishing on Great Pond, in Belgrade. Hunter and Megan are the children of Ryan and Rachel Hallee, of Rome.

FISHY PHOTO: Bassin’ through the ice

Hunter Hallee, 13, of Rome, caught this bass while ice fishing on McGrath Pond, in Oakland, on Sunday, February 23, with his maternal grandfather, Terry Greenleaf, of Oakland, and Hunter’s sister, Megan.

Rome voters reject CMP Corridor

On the evening of November 19, the town of Rome held an informational session and special town meeting focused on the CMP corridor. The 60-minute discussion included a panel of speakers from both sides of the corridor debate – Avangrid VP of Business Development Thorn Dickinson; Nicholas Bennett of Natural Resources Council of Maine; and Say NO to NECEC Rome resident advocates, Monica and Steve McCarthy.

Following the informational session, Rome residents voted 27-2 (with one neutral) for the town to take a position of opposition on the deeply unpopular CMP corridor.

Rome joins towns of Greenville, Jackman, Moose River, Dennistown, and Eustis – a series of towns not located along the proposed corridor route who have taken an opposition stance on the corridor. Now, 25 towns have either rescinded support or oppose the corridor and Rome residents made it clear they have grave concerns about NECEC’s potential for massive destruction to Maine’s environment, wildlife habitat, wetlands, waterways, and that this project will not reduce global CO2 emissions.

JMG student leaders

From left to right, Hailey Estes, Sydney Laird, kalli Duvall and Chloe French.

JMG student leaders attended JMG’s overnight Leadership Education Conference at Pine Tree Camp, in Rome. Students participated in a variety of leadership workshops and team building activities. Leaders had to complete a STEAM challenge, building a catapult, where each group had specific roles for each member. They had to launch marshmallows from the catapult competing against other schools for distance and accuracy. Groups also had to pitch their catapult to a panel of judges. Chloe stated that building the catapult was, “a challenge, while also fun because the team enjoys working together. (contributed photo)

Gordon graduates at the University of Minnesota Crookston

The Office of the Registrar at the University of Minnesota Crookston, in Crookston, Minnesota, recently announced its list of spring semester 2018 graduates. Summer session graduates include Cailyn Marie Gordon, of Rome, graduating with a bachelor of science in animal science.

Fishy photo: Hunter scores!

Hunter Hallee, 12, with his first trout.

Hunter Hallee, 12, of Rome, who is normally the goalie for his youth hockey team, had a big score on a recent fishing trip with his father and grandfather, at Tea Pond, in Eustis, on May 18-20. Hunter caught this 15-inch brook trout on Sunday morning, the first brook trout he’s ever caught. Hunter is the son of Ryan and Rachel Hallee, of Rome, and the grandson of Roland and Joan Hallee, of Waterville, Barbara Saxton, of Rome, and Terry Greenleaf, of Oakland.

Students pursue skills employers claim are in short supply

When was the last time you updated your resume? Did you include skills like problem-solving, critical-thinking and communication? According to a study conducted by LinkedIn in partnership with the Wall Street Journal, those are exactly the types of skills and attributes we should all be highlighting if we want to stand out in a job search. This week at Pine Tree Camp, in Rome, about 180 middle school and high school students from across the state gathered for JMG’s annual Leadership Education Conference (LEC). The Conference is an overnight intensive that gives students the unique opportunity to learn those soft skills employers are looking for.

JMG’s annual Leadership Education Conference (LEC)

Recently, at Pine Tree Camp, in Rome, about 180 middle school and high school students from across the state gathered for JMG’s annual Leadership Education Conference (LEC). The conference is an overnight intensive that gives students the unique opportunity to learn those soft skills employers are looking for. Contributed photo

Robbie Clark is an eighth grader at Winslow Middle School. He said, “When we’re at school, we’re usually working by ourselves or with our close friends. But, here at LEC you have to work with kids from all over that you’ve never met before. We have to work together to solve problems and meet deadlines. It challenges us.”

The conference, held from October 18 – 21, includes a series of hands-on activities that require students to practice their communication, time management, and teamwork skills. For example, the Army National Guard was on hand teaching them how to build emergency shelters. The students had to take some very basic materials, a few instructions, and work together to build a functional shelter in a certain amount of time. Chances are relatively few of these students will ever need to build a shelter, but the soft careers skills they’re honing will come in handy throughout their lives.

Ryan Moore, vice president at Bank of America, in Belfast, is a volunteer at LEC. Moore says, “This type of student event gives these young people the chance to get out of the classroom and offers them the opportunity to practice skills that are in high demand in the job market.”

Along with the skill-building activities, the theme of the conference was “grit.” Students learned about the importance of this combination passion and perseverance.

Area youths find success at USATF Summer Championships

Jack Bilodeau

Jack Bilodeau, of Winslow, claimed the boys 13/14 javelin state championship.

 

Gabe Katz

Gabe Katz, of Rome, earned the boys 13/14 triple jump state title.

 

Kaylan Bourque

Kaylan Bourque, of Benton, is the girls 9/10 long jump champion.

 

Left to right, Jenna Veilleux, Ashley Quirion, Sadie Irza and Grace Biolodeau

The Winslow girls 13/14 4×100 relay team captured first place at the USATF summer state championships. Left to right, Jenna Veilleux, Ashley Quirion, Sadie Irza and Grace Biolodeau.

 

Carly Warn

Carly Warn, 13, of Winslow, competed in the 100m dash at the USATF youth state meet in Augusta on August 13. Warn competed in the 13/14-year-old age group placing third overall with a time of 13.67. She has been part of the Winslow summer program since she was 8.

 

Waterville and Winslow Youth Summer Track & Field

Members of the Waterville and Winslow Youth Summer Track & Field programs walking in the Parade of Athletes on August 13 at the USATF state championships, held in Augusta.

 

All photos by Mark Huard, owner of Central Maine Photography