Midcoast Conservancy seeks pollution reduction projects in Damariscotta Lake

Tue, 06/01/2021 - 11:30am

Nesting loons. Swarms of alewives. Camps, cottages, and stately homes. Sailers, anglers, and water skiers. Forests, wetlands, and rocky shores. All are home on Damariscotta Lake. This regional hub of natural and human activity is considered by many to be the heart of the Midcoast.

While the lake often appears pristine and crystal clear, water quality problems lurk beneath the ripples. Just last year, nutrient pollution and warming waters were likely contributors to a potentially harmful cyanobacteria bloom that negatively impacted water quality and lake activities.

Left unchecked, blooms can cause fish kills, negatively impact property values, and even release toxins that harm people and pets. Located in a warmer climate close to the coast and with a relatively developed watershed, scientists like Midcoast Conservancy’s Patricia Nease consider Damariscotta Lake to be a sentinel for other’s in the state. As temperatures and populations are projected to increase in Maine, more lakes may experience water quality issues similar to Damariscotta Lake. The good news is that, with support from the local community, we can make a difference and help protect and restore Damariscotta Lake.

Midcoast Conservancy is actively seeking pollution reduction projects on properties within the Damariscotta Lake watershed. Specifically, Midcoast Conservancy has funding to install conservation practices, including rain gardens, ditch stabilization, erosion control mulching, and native plant buffers. Projects and properties will be evaluated using LakeSmart principles in summer of 2021, and, if selected, installed in summer of 2022. Typically, Midcoast Conservancy will provide labor through the Youth Conservation Corps program, and property owners are responsible for the cost of materials.

If you live in the Damariscotta Lake watershed and are interested in discussing pollution reduction projects or other conservation practices on your property, please contact Patricia Nease at patricia@midcoastconservancy.org

Additionally, Midcoast Conservancy will be hosting a webinar “Cyanobacteria Blooms – A Call to Action on Damariscotta Lake” on June 17, 2021. More info at www.midcoastconservancy.org/explore/events

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