DEP Section 319 Grant Projects Forecast to Significantly Reduce Harmful Runoff into Watchic Lake.

December 2022. Based on analysis done by FB Environmental, sediment and other pollutants entering Watchic Lake will be reduced by over two tons per year.

December 2022

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 and various stakeholders have completed implementing the agreed upon runoff remediation projects.

Through the projects funded by this grant, an estimated 2.33 tons of sediment and 1.99 pounds of phosphorus will be prevented from washing into Watchic Lake each year. 112.5 feet of streambank or shoreline will be protected. These reductions will help maintain good water quality leading to better quality of life for all on the lake. Sediment loss estimates were based on EPA Region 5 Load Estimation Model.

Forrest Bell of FB Environmental added “We are thrilled to see the Watchic Lake Association and lake shore partners complete the hard work involved in this grant! These projects are already helping protect Watchic Lake from harmful sediment and pollutants that can deteriorate water quality and cause harmful algal blooms.”

During the past few months, seven projects were completed, encompassing private roads, town roads, and residential properties around the lake.

  • Improvements were made to Watchic Road 15, Watchic Road 3, Hartford Lane, Hi-Vu Drive, and Dolloff Road. Improvements were designed to address specific issues at each site and ranged from installing culverts and catch basins, creating vegetated swales along roadside, to installing infiltrations steps in heavy pedestrian use area; all designed to catch and filter runoff.  
  • The owners of four residential properties collaborated with the WLA, the DEP, and local contractors to make various improvements to their properties, ranging from meandering paths, infiltration steps, proper use of mulch, and planting various native plants. Not only did these improvements reduce runoff into the lake, but they also improved property aesthetics and values.

In addition to construction-oriented projects, the WLA educated hundreds of property owners on how to keep the lake healthy. Education activities included presentations at the WLA annual meeting, information provide on the WLA website and newsletters, and a hands-on shoreland landscaping workshop.

“Working together with the Maine DEP, these projects have been a win-win for everyone,” said Paul McNulty, President of Watchic Lake Association. “With access to DEP funds, the WLA has been able to educate lake users, and property owners have been able to use best management practices beneficial to Watchic Lake’s health and help maintain their property values. We want to thank all involved, road associations, property owners, the Town of Standish, Cumberland County Soil and Water Division and Maine DEP for making this project a success and protecting Watchic Lake.”

*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

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