28 June 2013: The Clary Lake Watershed Survey and the NPS program

M mapclarylake_with_watershedBack in 2001 members of the Clary Lake Association with the assistance of some DEP staff conducted a watershed survey to identify and catalog sources of non-point source pollution. Typically these were areas where soil was eroding and running into the lake: road side ditches, road shoulders, driveways, unprotected shorelines, unstable slopes, clogged, poorly maintained, or improperly installed culverts, etc. Money for erosion control measures was available under the State’s Nonpoint Source Water Pollution Control Grants (“319”) program. 90 sites were identified and categorized as to whether they were Low, Medium, or High priority and a grant was obtained and erosion control measures were implemented at a number of the high priority site

The NPS pollution and “319” grant program is still in existence today. At this summer’s Congress of Lake Associations’ 43rd Annual Maine Lakes Conference held last Saturday the 22nd at Colby College which I attended, Norm Marcotte of DEP gave a short presentation on DEP’s new NPS Tracker Program which is basically like the old NPS program with added spreadsheet functionality and computer mapping features made possible by such programs as Google Earth and Google Maps.

Given Clary Lake’s declining water quality in recent years I thought it was about time to dig out the old watershed survey and get to work on updating it. To that end I have obtained a copy of the 2001 Clary Lake Watershed Survey report in PDF format:

The report is also listed on the Maps Charts & Graphs page. Here’s a document from the DEP website that describes the “new” NPS Tracker Program:

I’ll be making a presentation on this topic at this summer’s Annual Meeting of the Clary Lake Association in the hopes of drumming up interest, and more importantly, volunteers to work on updating our watershed survey. More about this later.