The purpose of this project was to improve or maintain stable water quality in Forest Lake. This was accomplished by reducing the amount of phosphorus entering the lake and promoting watershed stewardship.
Local volunteers and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) biologists have monitored Forest Lake’s water quality for over 27 years. In general, the lake’s water quality is considered to be slightly above average based on secchi disk transparency, total phosphorus and chlorophyll-a measurements. However, data also indicates that the lake may be under stress. According to DEP, there is moderate potential for nuisance algal blooms, moderate oxygen depletion in deep areas of the lake and moderate risk of phosphorus recycling problems (MDEP files, 2000). Given this information and the fact that Forest Lake is a valued regional resource, it was placed on the State’s “Nonpoint Source Priority Watersheds” lists. In addition, the Maine DEP has listed Forest Lake on their list of “Lakes Most at Risk from Development” under the Maine Stormwater Law.
Water quality problems can be attributed to polluted runoff, or nonpoint source pollution (NPS), that washes into the lake from its surrounding watershed. Phosphorus, which attaches to soil particles, poses the greatest threat to Forest Lake. Phosphorus spurs excess algae growth, causing declines in water clarity and oxygen levels. Ultimately, high inputs of phosphorus can lead to a degradation of fish habitat, development of nuisance algae blooms and losses in lakefront property values.
- 2002 Watershed Survey and Management Plan
- 2004 Phase I—Implementation – $59,635 received through Federal 319 Clean Water Act
- 2007 Phase II—Implementation – $75,000 received through Federal 319 Clean Water Act