The Lake Auburn Watershed Protection Commission and Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District have collaboratively worked on addressing measures to protect the water quality of Auburn's drinking water source--Lake Auburn. The result of the efforts has resulted in a notification of the proposed grant contract . This grant award comes from the US Environmental Protection Agency's 319 Clean Water Act funding pool and is administered through the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Practices designed to control soil erosion and prevent pollution from stormwater runoff are being planned. An educational outreach program effort will be used to increase awareness and knowledge of the impact these issues have on the water quality of Lake Auburn--our source for drinking water.
Androscoggin River Watershed Fish Passage Barrier and Martin Stream Crossing and Dam Inventory Projects
Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District (AVSWCD), Oxford County Soil and Water Conservation District (OCSWCD) and Androscogggin River Watershed Council have been collaborating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Gulf of Maine Coasal Program, and the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture. Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and other non-governmental organizations have worked together to evaluate how well small dams and stream culverts are working in the Androscoggin River and Martin Stream watersheds during the fall of 2013 and 2014. Dams and stream crossings affect stream health and often keep fish and wildlife from reaching upstream habitat or moving within streams to find resting, feeding and spawning habitat. These surveys are part of a larger statewide effort to assess and prioritize potential barriers to sea-run and freshwater fish such as Atlantic salmon, alewives, and Eastern brook trout so state, county, town and private landowners have reliable information to help identify problem areas for future planning. Partial funding for this project was provided by the US Fish and Wildlife' Maine Coastal Program and Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture. These projects will be completed in the early part of 2015.
There is still some cost share funding available for culvert replacement for the Martin Stream and Sunday River Watersheds. Contact us for more information.
The stream crossing surveys to assess fish passage barriers in the two watersheds were conducted in the latter half of September and throughout October of 2013 and during the spring into early December of 2014. for the Androscoggin River Watershed. the Martin Stream and Sunday River Watersheds stream crossing surveys were conducted during late 2104 and the spring and summer of 2015. Teams of two people collected data in the immediate vicinity of the crossing. They recorded the dimensions of the culvert and assessed factors such as water depth, stream bottom material up and downstream and erosion at the culvert. The surveys gathered help assess potential barriers to fish movements, deterrmine which sites are the highest priority for modifying or replacing structures to improve access for fish and wildlife and accommodate larger stream flows associated with more extreme precipitation events reducing long-term roadway maintenance costs. A special thank you to all our partners and volunteers that participated in the field survey work for these projects.
The volunteers were crucial to the project and without their help the project would have been extremely difficult to complete as designed. Every hour donated was important and for which the collaborators are very grateful. We are proud to be associated with this wonderful group of dedicated people who have contributed an extraordinary effort to preserve and restore the natural resources of the area. Actions speak louder than words. They have spoken loudly and clearly and the team leaders thank each of them for their help.
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.