November 2022. The Watchic Lake Association, working together with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection have completed the next wave of projects to reduce stormwater runoff into Watchic Lake.
In late 2019, the Watchic Lake Association (WLA) with help from FB Environmental developed a watershed protection plan designed to improve water quality in the Watchic Lake Watershed over the coming 10 years. The plan was approved by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in March of 2020, making WLA eligible to apply for implementation grant funds. In January of 2021, WLA was awarded an implementation grant* in the amount of $125,000. The WLA is now implementing the agreed runoff remediation projects.
During September and October, several projects have been completed, encompassing both residential properties and roads to the lake:
- The location and layout of Watchic Road 15 allowed significant runoff to directly enter the lake and made for a challenging remediation project. Working with property owners’, improvements were made to address excessive stormwater runoff issues. Best Management Practices included installing two catch basins, resurfacing the road to properly direct runoff, adding an infiltration walking path with infiltration steps at the water’s edge, and erosion control mulch to further filter and slow runoff.
- Pedestrian access to the lake from Hi-Vu Road had deteriorated over the years, allowing stormwater to run down a steep hill and directly into the lake. The Hi-Vu Road Association leveraging DEP funds, and technical and permitting assistance from the WLA and FB Environmental, installed a series of infiltration steps, mulch, and native plants to capture stormwater and allow it to settle into the ground and not run directly into the lake. Not only is the lake being protected, but Hi-Vu residents now have a safer way to get to the water.
- Access to a dock from a Watchic Crossroads residential property had not been properly installed years ago, and had recently fallen into disrepair, causing large volumes of stormwater to run across the property and directly into the lake. Improvements were made to the steps leading to the lake, not only reducing stormwater runoff into the lake, but also making for a much more attractive and comfortable access to the dock.
Chris Martino of Watchic Crossroads commented “as a new property owner on Watchic Lake, I feel it’s important to keep the lake clean and enjoyable for my family and maintain the value of my property. Access to DEP funds and FB Environmental expertise was just the incentive I needed to upgrade access to the lake. After all the recent heavy rains, I know the investment is paying off – I’ve not seen any water washing directly into the lake during these rains”.
“Working together with the Maine DEP, these projects (and future projects) have been a win-win for everyone,” said Paul McNulty, President of Watchic Lake Association. “With access to DEP funds, property owners have been able to use best management practices beneficial to Watchic Lake’s health and help maintain their property values.”
*Funding for these projects, 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.
The Watchic Lake Association was founded in 1956. An all-volunteer organization, the WLA has as its overall mission protecting and improving the ecosystem of the Watchic Lake and the Watchic Lake Watershed. In addition to managing the Watchic Lake dam to protect wildlife and minimize shore damage, the association works with property owners, and state and local government to monitor and improve water quality through education and remediation programs. For more information, please contact the Watchic Lake Association at https://watchiclake.org/contact-us/
Established in 2001, FB Environmental Associates is a consulting firm that specializes in environmental assessment, monitoring, planning, mapping, modeling, and restoration projects in the watersheds of New England’s lakes, streams, rivers, and estuaries. FB Environmental is committed to providing reasonably priced, high-quality professional products while maintaining close communication with our clients. For more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org