“LAKES AS SENTINELS OF CHANGE”: 43rd Annual Maine Lakes Conference

Lakes Conference Poster Session, Diamond Atrium, June 22, 2013

1) Mission Possible: Save the Fairview Grange: The Eco-Friendly Restoration of a Smithfield Community Pillar

2) Riparian Habitats are Influenced by Shoreline Development in the Belgrade Lakes

3) Influence of Shoreline Development on the Littoral Zone in the Belgrade Lakes

4) Assessing LakeSmart Evaluations from 2009 to 2012 in the Belgrade Lakes Region of Central Maine

5) Preliminary Results of the Belgrade Lakes Watershed Survey

6) Goldie, Great Pond, and GLEON


 

Mission Possible: Save the Fairview Grange: The Eco-Friendly Restoration of a Smithfield Community Pillar 

Kathy Lipshultz ‘16, 8012 Mayflower Hill, Waterville, ME 04901, krlipshu@colby.edu

The Fairview Grange in Smithfield, Maine, was struggling financially, unable to afford the upkeep of the place, much less a renovation. The North Pond Association and Duratherm Windows stepped in to save the Grange, donating money for short-term expenses and offering to help with repairs. If successfully renovated, the Grange will become a greater community center, functioning not only as a communal meetinghouse, but also as a lake resource center for North Pond. The grounds of the Fairview Grange will be turned into a park-like setting, designed to showcase “best management practices,” such as the rip-rapping of shoreline and the establishment of rain gardens. The Grange will become the first LakeSmart property on North Pond, featuring tours to teach the public environmentally-friendly home improvement tips. The Grange itself will be repaired using green materials to minimize the building’s heating costs, reduce its carbon footprint, and increase its lifespan. In the end, the Fairview Grange will remain a community pillar, while serving as a model for sustainable practices in the Smithfield area.

 

Riparian Habitats are Influenced by Shoreline Development in the Belgrade Lakes

Tom Abare ’15, Emily Arsenault ’14, Colin Cummings ’14, Monica Davis ’13, Marianne Ferguson ’14, Savannah Judge ’15, Drew Mealor ’14, Gian-Antonio Perani ’14, Corey Reichler ’13, Benjamin Timm ’14, Sophie Weaver ’14, Russell Cole, and Catherine Bevier, Environmental Studies Program and Department of Biology, Colby College Waterville, ME 04901

Residential development of shoreland areas can negatively affect habitat structure and biological diversity. The objective of our research was to examine the influence of different degrees of shoreline development on riparian habitats of Great Pond, East Pond and North Pond. Undeveloped reference sites, buffered developed sites and unbuffered developed sites were identified along the shorelines of these lakes and surveys were conducted to compare characteristics including vegetation cover and composition along the shoreline, buffer width, shoreline disturbance and stability. Reference and buffered developed sites had less disturbance and greater stability, significantly greater shading along the shoreline, and more trees and high shrubs in buffer strips than unbuffered developed sites. Buffer strip width, assessed for mean, maximum, and minimum values, was significantly greater for reference and buffered developed sites than for unbuffered developed sites. The results of our research suggest to landowners that low impact development can result in minimal changes in riparian habitats compared to undisturbed reference sites. Reducing the impact of shoreline development is important to maintain healthy lake ecosystems.

 

Influence of Shoreline Development on the Littoral Zone in the Belgrade Lakes

Tom Abare ’15, Emily Arsenault ’14, Colin Cummings ’14, Monica Davis ’13, Marianne Ferguson ’14, Savannah Judge ’15, Drew Mealor ’14, Gian-Antonio Perani ’14, Corey Reichler ’13, Benjamin Timm ’14, Sophie Weaver ’14, Russell Cole, and Catherine Bevier, Environmental Studies Program and Department of Biology, Colby College Waterville, ME 04901

Residential development of shoreland areas can negatively affect water quality, shoreline structure, and biological diversity. The goal of our study was to investigate the influence of shoreline development on the littoral zone of Great Pond, East Pond and North Pond. Undeveloped reference sites, buffered developed sites and unbuffered developed sites were identified along the shorelines of these lakes and surveys were conducted to compare abiotic and biotic characters. Abiotic features included sediment size, distribution, and the degree to which rocks were embedded in the substrate. Biotic characters included aufwuchs cover and density on the substrate, abundance of woody structure, and micro- and macro-invertebrate abundance and diversity. Sediment type at sites varied. Rocks were embedded to a greater degree at unbuffered sites than at reference or residential sites with maintained buffers. Aufwuchs cover was greatest at reference and buffered developed sites, but differences were minor. Reference sites had more woody structure and leaf litter in benthic areas than developed sites. These features influence diversity of invertebrate animals, which serve as a strong bioindicator of lake health. Results for this important parameter are still being assessed. Our data will be used to design education strategies to better inform shoreline property owners of best management practices to minimize impacts of residential development on lake water quality.

 

Assessing LakeSmart Evaluations from 2009 to 2012 in the Belgrade Lakes Region of Central Maine

 Sarah Madronal1, Samantha Lovell1, Noah Teachey1, Philip Nyhus1, Maggie Shannon2, David Gay3, F. Russell Cole1, Cathy Bevier4, D. Whitney King5, 1Environmental Studies Program, Colby College, Waterville, ME 04901, 2 Maine Congress of Lake Associations, Belgrade, ME 04917, 3 Belgrade Lakes Association, Belgrade Lakes, ME 04918, 4 Biology Department, Colby College, Waterville, ME 04901, 5 Chemistry Department, Colby College, Waterville, ME 04901

Lakes are important economic and recreational resources in Maine that provide numerous ecosystem services, including drinking water and habitat for fish and wildlife. A growing number of Maine’s 5,785 lakes face declining water quality. In 2004, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection established LakeSmart, a state-wide effort to engage communities in lake conservation. In 2012, management of this program was transferred to the Maine Congress of Lake Associations. In this study we summarize very preliminary results of our findings from an analysis of 219 LakeSmart certification evaluations from 17 screeners at 7 locations from 2009-2012 in the Belgrade Lakes region of central Maine. Since 2009 on average 31 new evaluations were added each year. Total average score of the evaluations was highest in 2009 (84%) and lowest in 2011 (78%). Long Pond and Great Pond accounted for 95% of all evaluations and three screeners accounted for 46% of all evaluations. Forty percent evaluations resulted in commendations. Between 10% and 34% of evaluations were within 2 points above the passing score of any individual section while between 3% and 8% were within 2 points below the passing score. Our poster represents preliminary results of an ongoing study on LakeSmart in the Belgrade Lakes watershed that will also explore factors associated with the spatial distribution of these evaluations.

 

Preliminary Results of the Belgrade Lakes Watershed Survey

Xiaojie Chen ’16 (xchen@colby.edu), Lucy O’Keeffe ’14 (lgokeeff@colby.edu), Michael Donihue, (Michael.Donihue@colby.edu), Department of Economics, Colby College, Waterville, ME 04901

Our preliminary statistical analysis of the Belgrade Lakes Watershed is based on an economic survey that was mailed to homeowners in the region.  The goal of the survey is to explore the social and economic dimensions of the area as well as to capture information on spending, income, and general knowledge about the state of the lakes.  Understanding the differences and relationships between year-round and seasonal residents of the Watershed is a critical aspect of our research.

The results of this analysis reveal the relative distribution of spending on outdoor recreational and leisure activities in the Belgrade Lakes. Also, the data suggest that while people are generally familiar with lake health issues, they are less aware of initiatives to address these issues such as the LakeSmart program. It is important to note that these preliminary results are based on an initial distribution of mailings, and so do not reflect the entirety of the Watershed.

 

Goldie, Great Pond, and GLEON

Sarah Large ’14, Sergio Baez Madrigal ’16, Whitney King, Denise Bruesewitz, Departments of Envronmental Studies and Chemistry, Colby College, Waterville Maine.  dwkig@colby.edu, dabruese@colby.edu

 Goldie is a remote observation buoy that was installed in Great Pond on April 28, 2013. The buoy measures light levels (PAR) above and below the water’s surface, dissolved oxygen concentrations at the surface and bottom of the lake, temperature every two meters, and chlorophyll fluorescence at two meters. Every 15 minutes the data are transmitted to servers on at Colby where the lake data is merged with meteorological data collected at the MLRC weather station. Real time data is displayed at web.colby.edu/lakes. Goldie is one of 38 other buoys that are a part of the Global Lakes Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON). This organization is a grassroots group of limnologists, ecologists, information technology experts, and engineers who share a common goal of building a scalable, persistent network of lake ecological observatories. Future goals for Goldie are to understand the factors that control photosynthesis or respiration within Great Pond, to understand the day-to-day and seasonal temperature and mixing patterns within the lake, correlate lake geochemistry to phytoplankton activity, and to identify year-to-year changes in the lake’s ecosystem. Beyond the scientific questions, Goldie has the potential to act as a sentinel of lake health and we are excited to work with the greater lake community to develop new and innovative ways to display lake data to promote community-based lake conservation.

 Figure 1.