WILTON — The town has received a $69,696 federal grant to reduce pollution in the Wilson Lake watershed by preventing erosion.

Work will be done on seven state roads, five town roads, one private road and two municipal/public sites.

The estimated cost is $214,142, with $144,446 promised from project partners coupled with the federal grant. The project will run through December 2019.

The watershed covers approximately 26 square miles across six towns and townships. The lake is listed on the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s 2016 Nonpoint Source Priority Watershed List as “threatened” because of declining water clarity.

The grant from the federal Clean Water Act comes through the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

Jennifer Jespersen, owner of Ecological Instincts in Manchester said, “The grant will address high priority nonpoint source pollution causing a decline in the clarity and water quality. The focus will be on erosion control.”

Friends of Wilson Lake will ramp up publicity for the state’s LakeSmart program, which offers free opportunities for homeowners to learn how to manage their home and yard to protect the water quality of their lake.

Ten matching grants of up to $150, which equals 50 percent of the cost of erosion control measures, will be available to property owners on a first come first serve basis.

Friends of Wilson Lake will also coordinate two trips for elementary school students to collect water clarity, dissolved oxygen and other water quality data.

“We want to raise public awareness about the problem, what we’re doing and what land owners can do to help,” Jespersen said.

“The community and town have put in a lot of effort to get to this point,” Kristin Feindel of the Maine DEP said.

In 2016, Friends of Wilson Lake, the town and other partners conducted a watershed survey which documented 62 nonpoint source pollution sites. In 2017, the Wilson Lake Watershed-Based Protection Plan was developed.

Feindel said the federal grant provides for implementation of those efforts.

For more information, visit friendsofwilsonlake.org or call the Town Office at 207-645-4961.

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