A stream crossing and dam inventory to assess fish passage barriers in the Little Androscoggin River watershed will begin in May 2013 with a training session for volunteers will be held at the Oxford Town Office, 85 Plesant Street, Oxford on Friday, May 10 from 8:30 a.m. to 3;30 p.m.
A voluntary program to give farmers credit for good stewardship.
Be recognized for you efforts to use management practices that benfit the environment and increase sustainability!
Use the Eart Smart certification as a tool to promote your farm business.
What is Earth Smart?
Earth Smart is a simple, voluntary program that gives farmers credit for good stewardship.
Participating farmers are recognized for their current practices and may need to implement self-selected improvements to become certified. The program focuses on practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and costly inputs such as fertilizers and fuels. It also focuses on practices that will enhance productivity and soil health, profitability and the farm financials. It recognizes that good stewardship can only come with improvements in the bottom line. Farmers may elect to participate in any of six modules about management of crop, forage, pasture and forest lands, fertilizers, manure and energy.
Who Can and Why Should a Farmer Participate?
All Maine farmers can participate. This is a pilot project and on-site technical assistance may not be available in all counties; however, a farmer can get assistance by calling the program administrator. Earth Smart is an easy way for farmers to understand how to improve their stewardship without doing a lot of research and get credit for their hard work. farmers with local markets can distinguish their farm and their products using the Earth Smart label and demonstrate to their customers that they care about the environment.
How Do I Become Certified?
Contact the Earth smart program to see how the program might work for you.
Start with gathering items on the Assessment Document Check List:
Develop an Earth Smart management plan with the help of a professional that includes practices that work best for you. Meet the minimum requirements of one of six modules and apply practices chosen from any combination of modules that help you achieve 70 out of 100 points. You automatically get 10 points for doing the assessment and management plan. The modules include the following:
Sabattus Pond Watershed Implementation Grant Phase 3
Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District has finished its final field season for the 319 Clean Water Act grant obtained through funding from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and administered by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The major focus was completing components within the Letters of Agreement with landowners and municipalities The projects implemented were for enhancing erosion and sediment control that would prevent the degradation of the water quality in Sabattus Pond.
Little River Watershed Stream Crossing Survey Project to Start in June
A stream crossing survey to assess fish passage in the Little River Watershed began in June, 2012. The watershed is located within the towns of Topsham, Lisbon, Lisbon Falls and Bowdoin. The goal was to identify potential barriers that prevent sea run and freshwater fish, such as alewives, Atlantic salmon and Eastern brook trout from reaching upstream resting, feeding and spawning habitat.
Survey teams consisted of two people who will collect data in the immediate vicinity of the crossing. They recorded the dimensions of culverts and/or dams and assess factors such as water depth, stream bottom material up and downstream and erosion at the culvert. Potential barriers included culverts perched above the stream or blocked by sediment or debris. Previous surveys have found that about 40% of culverts at public or private stream crossings are barriers to fish and wildlife.
Collection of this information will help the state, towns and private landowners determine which sites should be modified or replaced to improve access for fish and wildlife, accommodate larger stream flows associated with more extreme precipitation events and reduce long-term roadway maintenance costs. Some high priority sites could be eligible for outside technical or financial help through public and private partnerships if the road owner/manager has an interest.
This work was made possible by a State Planning Office Maine Coastal Program Competitive Coastal Grant received by the Town of Topsham. Participants include: the Town of Topsham, Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, Atlantic Salmon Federation, Trout Unlimited Sebago Chapter, Topsham Conservation Commission, Wright-Pierce Engineering and other volunteers.
A stream crossing survey training for volunteers was held at the Topsham Town Office on June 12, 2012 at 9 a.m. For more information about this project, please contact Susan Gammon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farm-A-Syst Assessment Tool
AVSWCD has updated the Maine Farm-A-Syst program originally implemented by the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension. The program helps to protect drinking water supplies and is meant to be used as a tool to help farmers and other land owners recognize areas or practices on their property that may be impacting groundwater. After areas of concern are identified, the next step is to create an action plan to improve practices. There are 13 user friendly separate fact sheets with accompanying worksheets. Each section includes information on the potential impacts of these practices on public and private drinking water wells. Click on underscored title to learn more in the list below.
In compliance cooperation with Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District has conducted inspections of erosion and sediment control practices installed by contractors desiring certification. Appointments for these inspections must be requested and the site must be free of snow cover. Email Susan Gammon at email@example.com or call her at 207-753-9400 ext 404 to schedule an appointment.
New Farmer Workshop Series
Androsoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District collaborated with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Maine Department of Agriculture, Maine Forest Service and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to offer beginning or yet to be farmers a seven workshop series. Attendees were given and introduction to business management, crop management, nutrient management, pest management, water management, energy management and farm safety. The evaluations received after each session gave great ideas for future, more in depth topics for potential training. This fall our partners will join together to assess the potential plan for future training opportunities.