February 19, 2013

East Pond Association turns to small steps to combat algae blooms

By Matt Hongoltz-Hetling

MaineToday Media

The East Pond Association is undergoing a strategy shift in fighting algae blooms on the pond.

Over the past several years, the organization, which operates in Oakland and Smithfield, has slowly come to terms with the idea that reversing the conditions that caused the blooms in the first place will require thousands of small actions, rather than one big one.

“We’ve been looking for magic bullets, something that would just fix things,” said Rob Jones, 67, a former Smithfield selectman who has been president of the association for the past five years.

“Our association’s thrust now is to reverse the death by a thousand cuts that’s happened over the last few decades,” Jones said.

Algae blooms aren’t the only thing that threaten the health of a lake or pond, but the risk they pose is so severe that they get a lot of attention from environmental groups. 

Read more: East Pond & Algae...

May 13, 2013

Nonprofit triples size of LakeSmart water protection program in single year

Maine Congress of Lake Associations took over stewardship recognition program from state Department of Environmental Protection in 2012

By Matt Hongoltz-Hetling This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

MaineToday Media

LakeSmart, a program that seeks to improve lake health, has more than tripled in size this year, its first in the hands of a private nonprofit group.

Mel Croft, left, leaves his dock on East Pond with Rob Jones, center, and Gordon Woods, right, to install speed-limit buoys Friday morning at both ends of the Serpentine, a mile-long, narrow stretch of shallow water that connects East Pond with North Pond.

Rob Jones maneuvers a speed-warning buoy Friday morning on East Pond near the Serpentine, a mile-long, narrow stretch of shallow water that connects East Pond with North Pond. The buoys are part of the LakeSmart program which was implemented on East Pond.

The program, which gives official recognition to good stewards of lakefront property, was created in 2004 by the Department of Environmental Protection.

Read more: Lakesmart Size...

June 22, 2013

Crane's protectors fighting against speeding boats on North, East ponds

Handful of sandhill crane nesting sites on Serpentine between East, North ponds in Smithfield threatened by boaters' wakes

By Matt Hongoltz-Hetling This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SMITHFIELD — Speeding boaters and Jet Skiers along the Serpentine waterway may be threatening the sandhill crane, a species that recently returned to Maine after being pushed to the brink of extinction.

Christine Keller paddles along the Serpentine waterway, a three-mile waterway that cuts across a peat bog as it connects East and North ponds, on Thursday. Speeding boaters and personal watercraft operators along the Serpentine waterway may be unwittingly threatening a comeback by the sandhill crane, a species that recently returned to Maine after being pushed to the brink of extinction. A speed buoy has been installed at both ends of the Serpentine waterway to help control boat traffic.

Read more: Protecting Cranes