2009 Program Highlights
- The District has become a partner with the Bangor Area Storm Water Group
(BASWG). BASWG is comprised of the Cities of Bangor, Brewer, and Old Town,
and the Towns Hampden, Milford, Orono and Veazie as well as the following
nested entities; Bangor International Airport, Dorothea Dix Psychiatric
Center, Eastern Maine Community College, Maine Air National Guard, the
University of Maine, and University College of Bangor. BASWG is a
collaborative effort by these entities to comply with stormwater regulations
from the US. EPA. The District has partnered with them to assist with
education and outreach projects.
- In June the District, BASWG and the Town of Hampden collaborated to
install a demonstration rain garden at the town office. This garden is
designed to show Hampden residents how they can install smaller gardens on
their properties to help reduce the amount of storm water leaving their
- The District coordinated storm drain stenciling projects for
BASWG In July using volunteers from Upward Bound. We stenciled storm drains
in urban areas of Veazie and Milford. The purpose of stenciling the storm
drains is to raise awareness that storm water flows from these systems
untreated in to the local rivers and streams. Part of the project also
includes a door hanger that is provided to each home explaining why we
stenciled and how they can reduce their use of lawn chemicals and other
storm water issues. Our news release was printed in the Weekly and the
Milford Town Manager included the project in her town report that is printed
in the Penobscot Times. The Milford town manager is trying to further the
outreach and asked us to spray paint the stencil on the town dump trucks.
- We have been working with BASWG on a research project to determine if the
messages they chose for the door hangers that go with the stenciling
campaign are effective. We have been working with Nick Stevenson, a Graduate
Student from Plymouth State, on a scientific awareness message process. We
are currently evaluating our message against a normative message which will
be on the door hangers. This message will be “Most of your neighbors don’t
use lawn chemicals. The use of use lawn chemicals threatens water quality
and the health of your children and pets.” To evaluate this message we will
do more storm drain stenciling in the November. There will be three
campaigns that we will do; the standard outreach method will be used on
Constitution Drive in Hampden and Hillside Blvd in Brewer, the normative
message will be used on Frances Drive in Hampden and Judson Heights in
Bangor, the control areas will only be stenciled and they will be Rolling
Meadow Drive in Bangor and Main Trail in Hampden.
The following projects are funded by grants from the Maine Department of
Environmental Protection through funds from Section 319 of the Federal Clean
Water Act. Grants are awarded to these lakes on a competitive basis.
- We have partnered with the City of Old Town to upgrade and improve 1
mile of Woodland Avenue on Pushaw Lake. The purpose of this project is to
reduce the erosion of from the camp road that is depositing an estimated
2,106.3 tons/year of soil into Pushaw Lake. The challenge the city has had
over the years is how to drain the 163 acre watershed which is densely
developed. The District engineer has designed a new storm water management
system. The stormwater system will be changed from the existing ditch system
to a subterranean system designed to force stormwater to infiltrate through
filter fabric and crushed stone before entering a perforated pipe system
with additional slowing and infiltrating practices throughout the design.
The City of Old Town has committed $100,000 to this project and the grant is
paying for the engineering of this system. When all is said and done the
City plans to spend roughly $1,000,000 over the next ten years to upgrade
this road, with design assistance from the District.
- The Bear/Elk Lane Road Association on Wassookeag Lake in Dexter received
assistance from the district to upgrade their roads. Over two years the
association installed 2,280 ft of ditching, 5 new culverts, 965 ft of
resurfaced road and 580 ft of completely rebuilt road. Because of the size
of the project Bear Lane has received significant community interest. Thus,
the work done on the entrance to the road and the hill has become a much
discussed and often visited attraction. And, as our grant administrator
said, “the project is a text book example of what a perfect camp road should
be.” Every camp owner who visits the property will be able to learn how to
better maintain their own camp roads by example.
- The District has received funding to compile a Watershed Survey for Cold
Stream Pond. The survey will be used to seek more grants funding to address
erosion issues that are identified through the survey process. This will be
a collaborative effort with the Cold Stream Campowners Association, and
Towns of Enfield, Lowell, Lee and Lincoln.
Education and Outreach Projects
- The Leonard Middle School in Old Town received a grant from Maine DEP to
install demonstration rain gardens at Sewal Park. The District provided a
classroom presentation on water quality and how rain gardens can be used to
help reduce sediment and pollution from reaching lakes and rivers. We also
used our connections with local nurseries to help the students get the
plants they needed at a reduced rate.
- We are in the process of partnering with the Girl Scouts of Maine to
offer educational programs to the troops. Recently the Girl Scouts added a
Water Patch. The District and UMCE will be hosting a Water Patch day in the
spring to provide the troops with educational opportunities to help them get
their patch. Local troops will also be encouraged to help with the Storm
Drain Stenciling projects next summer as well as the BASWG’s Annual Stream
Cleanup which is held in May.
The District through our partnership with the USDA – Natural Resources
Conservation Service provides conservation cost-share programs for agricultural
operations in Penobscot County.
- Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program we have provided
assistance to agricultural operations in Bradford, Charleston, Corinna,
Corinth, Dexter, Dixmont, Exeter, Garland, Hampden, Hermon, Kenduskeag, Lee,
Levant, Milford Newburgh, and Newport. This year to date we have provided
cost-share payments totaling just over $3,000,000 for the installation of
conservation practices on agricultural land.
- Through the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program we have provided
assistance to the Town of Veazie and Maine IF&W on lands they manage in
Charleston, Drew Plantation, Lee and Winn, to install practices that enhance
habitat. To date we have provided over $41,000 for cost-share assistance in