Watershed Roundup

December 2023 Newsletter from the 30 Mile River Watershed Association

Photo: Overwhelmed culvert during December 18th storm, by Josh Robbins

Happy Winter Solstice!

We celebrate the start of winter and the return of the light.

Your gift today will be doubled!

With just 10 days left in 2023, time is running out to reach our annual fundraising goal. Your support will help us protect our waters from the devastating pollution caused by increasingly big rain events.

MAKE YOUR GIFT TODAY and every dollar will be matched in our

$30K for 30 Mile Challenge.

Donors from across our watershed have made this challenge possible by generously matching every gift made by December 31st, up to $30K. 

Our lakes and ponds are treasures. Now, more than ever, these fragile places face their greatest threats from invasive species, watershed development, warming temperatures and the massive storms like we saw this week (read more below). With your support, we are able to tackle these challenges head-on and are making great progress, despite the enormous threats. See a few highlights of all that our staff and volunteers accomplished this year.

Make your gift TODAY:

  • Donate online, or
  • Mail a check to 30 Mile River Watershed Association, PO Box 132, Mount Vernon, Maine 04352 (postmarked by December 31st). 
Make a Gift

Thank you to so many of you who have already made a gift!

Questions? Please contact Lidie at lidie@30mileriver.org.

Photo: Evening Light, Flying Pond by Karen Kurkjian

Reserve your 2024 30 Mile Calendar

Experience the stunning beauty of the watershed year-round while supporting 30 Mile by purchasing our first annual watershed calendar. Each month features a different image from the watershed. The closed calendar measures 11 by 8.5 inches. Calendar price: $25

Reserve your calendar here and we will email you a purchase link as soon as it's available.

Second flooding event threatens lakes

The flooding in May seemed like an extremely rare event. However, this week, our watershed experienced the second major flooding event this year, larger and perhaps more damaging than the May storm. 

When this much rainfall occurs within such a short timeframe, especially when the ground is frozen or saturated, rising water quickly overwhelms existing infrastructure (stream and river crossings, ditches, and culverts), leading to not only enormous repair costs, but also huge levels of polluted runoff ending up in our waters. The two photos above show an overwhelmed culvert on a tributary at the north end of Parker Pond on December 18th.  

30 Mile provides technical support to towns, road associations, and individual landowners to address problems like this. Our largest project to date was in the Town of Chesterville on the Sandy River Road, where we partnered with the town, the DEP, and the Parker Pond Association to replace a large culvert at the outlet of David Pond (inlet of Parker), rebuild a section of the road, and install many runoff diverters on the steep hills on both sides of the stream. During both of this year’s large rain events, we have seen this work hold up and do exactly as it was intended - prevent polluted runoff from entering the stream and lake.  

In 2024, we will make our work improving roads an even higher priority. One means of supporting this work is Maine’s Community Resiliency Partnership. This program provides opportunities to apply for grants to help our communities face these and other impacts of climate change. To participate, a municipality must enroll in the partnership. Three of our communities (Chesterville, Mount Vernon, and Vienna) have already joined, and three more are now aware of this opportunity. We urge all residents (year-round and seasonal) to learn more and encourage your town leadership to take advantage of opportunities to fund more resilient roads, stream crossings, culverts, and other critical infrastructure, which not only impact the health of our lakes and streams, but the safety of our community members and the already stretched budgets of our small rural towns. 30 Mile will continue to assist towns in completing the work necessary to apply for this and other grant funding to support watershed remediation efforts.

To read more about how we prepare ourselves for these events, please see our May newsletter article.

Thank you volunteers!

Water Quality Monitoring Program

30 Mile staff, alongside 28 dedicated volunteers, monitored water quality in 13 lakes and ponds this year - completing more than 112 sampling events! We are now completing our data analysis, then will be compiling our findings into our annual lake reports. In the meantime, check out the dissolved oxygen/temperature profiles and clarity readings we collected this season by visiting our website.

Through our monitoring program, we collect extensive data to track the health of our lakes and ponds. We measure water clarity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, phosphorus, chlorophyll, pH, alkalinity, conductivity, and color. We monitor bi-weekly, May-October. Volunteers work alongside our staff, in a canoe or motor boat, assisting in data collection. Volunteers who complete training and annual recertification with Lake Stewards of Maine may become certified to collect data themselves. There are roles for both trained and untrained volunteers to support our program. To support our water quality monitoring program as a volunteer, or become a certified volunteer monitor, please contact 30 Mile’s Program Director, Whitney Baker: whitney@30mileriver.org or (207) 860-4043.

A BIG THANKS to volunteers who made this program possible in 2023:

Androscoggin Lake: Ian Barclay, Leslie Burhoe, Patt Koscinski**, Allen & Cynthia Unrein

Basin Pond: Bob Harradon

David Pond: Bob Harradon, Kirstie Ludwig

Echo Lake: Gary Phillips**

Flying Pond: Nancy Hemphill, Bill & Cindy Murphy, Randy & Wendy Oakley, Len & Debbie Roe, Steve Trehu

Hales Pond: Steve Foster

Kimball Pond: Libby & Allan Harville

Lovejoy Pond: Ted & Mary Becker

Minnehonk Lake: Greg Cauldwell, Christine Merchant, Jane & Carl Rogers

Parker Pond: Brynne Robbins, Ken Tillman, Bob Weimont & Maggie Chadwick

Pocasset Lake: Deb Duplisea*, Will Jennings, Jeremy Smith

Tilton Pond: Jim Brogan*

Whittier Pond: Sheri Shunney*, Ned and Kay Van Woert*

*Certified Volunteer Monitor - Secchi Disk Transparency

**Certified Volunteer Monitor - Dissolved Oxygen/Temperature and Secchi Disk Transparency

Invasive Plant Patrol

90+ volunteers across nine different lakes and ponds throughout the watershed completed surveys for invasive aquatic plants this year! A huge THANK YOU to all the members of the individual lake associations’ teams who took part in this important effort to identify invasive aquatic infestations early. 

Looking to join your lake’s IPP team or get one started? Reach out to silas@30mileriver.org and check out our Invasive Plant Patrol website page for more information.

Androscoggin Lake (ALIC): Robert Anderson, Janet & Vic Bernhard, Beth & Jim Breazeale Jennifer Brown, Bill Cousins, Buddy Cummings (coordinator), Linda Gatti-Fyler, Nancy Hasenfus, Patt Koscinski, Margaret Lane, Katherine Mahoney, Susan Reed, Fred Tucci, Ted Tucci, David VanCott, Karen Webster

Basin Pond (BDTPA): Bob Capers

David Pond (BDTPA): Bob Capers (coordinator), Deb Cayer, Steve Smith-Erb

Echo Lake (ELA): Dan Auclair, Lou Aurelio, Joy Beekman, Sue Callaghan, Carolyn Currier, Charlie Elvin, Stephanie Flanagan, Petey Flood, Carol Fuller, Dave Fuller, Bradley Hayward, Len Hirsh, Tom Hoegeman, Teresa Johnson, Kevin Kinney, Peggy Lancaster, Jim LePage, Dick McKeen, Pat Mooney, Doug Phillips, Rachel Shearer, Alison Smith (coordinator), Jon Waleski, Pat Waleski, Geoff Williams, Eva Yarger

Flying Pond (FPIA): Nancy Brooks, Marsha Clark, Gary Cortelyou, Gary Fish, Darlene Fontaine, Paul Fontaine, Peter Goffin, Jon Groetzinger, Donna Maskwa, Bill Murphy, Randy Oakley, Alice Olson, Cindy Ripley, Deb Roe, Bill Steinour, Pat Thompson, Beth Trehu, Stephen Trehu, Mary Viruleg, Jacque Ward, John Zacker (coordinator)

Lovejoy Pond (LPIA): Mary Becker, Barbara Chisholm (coordinator), Theresa Petersen, Sookie Weymouth

Minnehonk Lake (GMLA): Tom Arminio (coordinator), Mark Cross, Linda Fish, Remi French

Parker Pond (PPA): Liz Beal, Mark Brigham, Deb Cayer, Trisha Cheney, Sarah Cowperthwaite, Sue Knorr, John Lanoue, John Linton, Linda & Greg Nelson, Matt Palmariello, Lidie Robbins (coordinator), Josh Robbins, Karen & Bill Rogers, Susan & Gerry Tinguely

Pocasset Lake (PLA): Don Fyler, David Randall, Dick Windecker (coordinator). During our plant patrol workshop in August, we trained 13 additional volunteers!

Tax Savings Opportunities

As you plan your year-end giving, consider a gift of appreciated securities (stocks, bonds, mutual funds) to 30 Mile. This is an effective way to fulfill your giving goals and help maximize your tax savings. You may be able to:

  • Deduct the fair market value of your gift;
  • Avoid capital gains tax on the appreciated stock.

To learn more, see our securities page.

Support 30 Mile! Your gift today will make a difference in protecting our lakes from phosphorus pollution, invasive species, and other threats. Find the giving level that works for you.

Donate Today


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