In about 2007, the WLA began the process of becoming a more strategic organization and started developing a long-range plan.
As part of this effort, two major threats to the lake emerged; 1) risk of the dam failing and 2) risk from runoff along Rte. 113. Starting in 2009 with help from many on the lake and the Town of Standish, over $200,000 was raised to address these and other threats. By 2013 these two issues were addressed, and as of 2018 continue to function well. Of the funds raised to address the dam and Rte 113 issues, about $40,000 remains (Fiscal 2019 ending June 30, 2018. Income and expense details can be found in our annual reports in the Annual Report section of this website. Click or touch here to download a Stewardship brochure.
The Situation Today
The largest concerns for Watchic Lake are related to development in around the Watchic Lake watershed. The increased use of the lake raise the risk of an invasive plant infestation. Pollutants (e.g., phosphorus) from storm water runoff increase the risk of algal blooms and generally reduce water quality. The possibility of a “100-year storm” increases the risk for a catastrophic failure of roads and culverts around the lake.
Should any of these situations worsen or occur, we all risk losing a wonderful quality of life on the lake, and significant reductions in property values.
The funds we raise from dues and smaller donations support ongoing water quality testing, education (e.g. LakeSmart and website), website registration and maintenance, member mailings, smaller remediation/repair projects, etc. This level of funding will not address major risks to the lake.
Watchic Lake Stewardship Fund: To protect the lake over the long term requires that we raise additional funds for larger/strategic projects such as rapid response to an invasive infestation, quickly addressing road/culvert failures, supporting larger runoff remediation projects, etc. To fund these important strategic initiatives (detailed below) and help us secure other grants, we will need to raise $350,000 over the next ten years.
The Watchic Lake Stewardship Funds builds on the success we had starting in 2009 in funding and then managing long term risks to the lake; namely repairing/upgrading the dam and addressing polluted runoff along Rte 113.
To ensure that these funds are used for stated purpose of this program, and ensure these funds are appropriately invested to ensure reasonable and safe return, the WLA intends to expand its current relationship with Fidelity Investments to help manage these funds.
To pledge your support of this next ten year effort, click/touch here for our Watchic Lake Stewardship Fund Pledge form.
You can fill it out online, print, sign, and mail it to Watchic Lake Association, PO Box 319, Standish ME 04084
Or you can save the form to your device, fill it out, and email it to Agnes Wiggin at email@example.com
Watchic Lake Stewardship Sample Strategic Projects
Broadly speaking, development along the waterfront is our largest risk… it creates more polluted runoff which reduces water quality, creates algal blooms, reduces fisheries, increases invasive risks, etc. The 2016 Risk Assessment Report summarized the projects that most benefit the lake, lake users, WLA members, and the town of Standish. These projects tend to be larger, longer term, and multi-constituent in nature, and are outlined below.
- Watchic Lake Watershed Protection Plan
- Develop an EPA Section 319-compliant watershed protection plan for the lake that explains water quality conditions, sets a water quality goal, documents shoreline conditions, note current and potential runoff risk areas, and details next steps for improvements around the lake. Pre-requisite for federal 319 funds and many private grants.
- One-time cost – $15,000 to 20,000
- Rapid Response and Treatment of Invasive Plant Infestation and/or Major Algal Blooms
- WLA volunteers check the lake regularly for invasive plants, and once a year do a full plant inventory. Should invasive plants be found, their harm can be reduced through rapid actions such as mechanical removal (e.g. manual, diver-operated suction, , mechanical harvesting) or chemical (fluridone, 2,4,-D, Endothall, Diquat, Copper Chelate, Triclopyr)
- One-time removal cost –$50,000 to $75,000 to hire certified invasive control contractors
- Annual costs for mechanical invasive removal – estimated $20k
- Algal bloom remediation is about $100k every 5-6 years
- DEP may provide grants to cover some of this. Cost estimates based on Pleasant Lake, Christopher Lake, Thompson Lake and North/East Pond experiences.
Encourage More LakeSmart Remediation Projects
- The LakeSmart program has many of the elements needed to address runoff. Our plan is to survey previous requests and recent building/remodels. And then reach out to potential new LakeSmart properties. When needed we would use a 50/50 cost sharing approach to remediate new properties. Based on earlier work, LakeSmart remediations are typically about $1000.
- Address Identified Roadway Runoff Issues
- Remaining priority runoff risk sites highlighted as a risk in our 2016 Risk Assessment Report include: Watchic Rd 21 (site 3), Watchic Terrace off Rte 113 (site 6), and possibly Watchic Rd 19 (site 5).
- The WLA would cover about 50% of the costs of any improvements required to ensure the work meets DEP erosion control standards.
- Advise on Updating Town Ordinances Regarding Lakefront Building
- Review and revise local ordinances to include better site design, low impact development and green infrastructure principles that limit the amount of phosphorus, nitrogen, sediment, and acidic waters from reaching waterbodies.
- Work with the Town of Standish to make a LakeSmart evaluation a required component of any permitting with the Watchic Lake Shoreland Zone
- Evaluate and Possibly Help Modernize Roads around the Lake.
- Evaluate results from Watershed Protection Plan and possibly conduct culvert study of public and private roads around the lake to assess sizing and condition and priorities. Improve infrastructure to accommodate higher and more frequent flow volumes. Ideally do jointly with Standish and property owners
- Work with road agents, associations, and landowners to understand and manage sediment and salt runoff from roads (private, town, state). Likely requires significant investment in road improvements: grading, ditches, culverts, and paving. Secure DEP funding if possible.
Watchic Lake Stewardship Fund – How You Can Help
A healthy lake helps protect your property values and your quality of life on the lake… for you and future generations! You can help by:
- Providing advice and guidance to the WLA on the program and more.
- Encouraging others on the lake to support this stewardship effort.
- Pledge a donation that that fits your situation. For example, consider a pledge in relation to the value of your property. A number of pledges have already been made ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 over a ten year period.
- Include the Watchic Lake Association in your estate planning.