NOTE: The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has released its annual report on how grants it administers under the Clean Water Act were used. The report for 2021 covers grants awarded to 7 Lakes Alliance for erosion control around McGrath Pond, Salmon Lake and North Pond. Below are excerpts from the report concerning $64,095 in grant spending on McGrath Pond and Salmon Lake. Those funds were matched by $74,008 from private landowners, lake and road associations, municipal governments, and commercial businesses, thereby doubling the impact of the grants.
McGrath Pond’s water quality is slightly above average, and the potential for algal blooms is moderate. Salmon Lake’s water quality is slightly below average, and the potential for algal blooms is moderate.
Three prior grants from 2000-07 addressed 89 nonpoint source (NPS) pollution sites in the two lakes’ combined watershed. Despite these efforts, Salmon Lake still has high phosphorus levels and dissolved oxygen depletion in deep areas of the lake. A locally funded 2017 watershed survey identified 105 sites, including 12 high-impact and 47 medium-impact NPS sites in the watershed. A watershed-based protection plan was developed in 2018.
The primary purpose of the 2021 grant was to implement erosion-control best management practices (BMPs) at high-priority NPS sites identified in the 2018 plan. In addition to pollutant reductions, the project aimed to raise community awareness through residential BMP workshops, gravel road workshops, LakeSmart evaluations and a stewardship project at Pleasant Point Park.
Grant outcomes included:
The installation of BMPs at 41 NPS sites, including 10 high-priority sites on private roads, residential sites, Camp Tracy and Pleasant Point Park.
Two road maintenance workshops with a combined 65 participants.
McGrath Pond-Salmon Lake Association volunteers conducted 17 LakeSmart evaluations.
7 Lakes Alliance’s Youth Conservation Corps installed 21 BMPs at 14 residential properties.
7 Lakes’ partners in the efforts included Camp Tracy, the Kennebec County Soil & Water Conservation District, the McGrath Pond-Salmon Lake Association, and the town governments in Belgrade and Oakland.