BELGRADE — Residents of Belgrade Lakes village will see a number of people with clipboards walking the shoreline of Great Pond on Monday as they begin a watershed survey of the waterway and its islands.

Technical leaders and teams of trained volunteers will survey “developed areas of the watershed to identify and record areas exhibiting soil erosion and other forms of pollution that have the potential to negatively affect the water quality of Great Pond.”

The survey will lead to recommendations to help address problems, according to a news release from the Belgrade Lakes Association.

The group is organizing the survey, which will be performed by volunteers from the 7 Lakes Alliance, according to Jennifer Jespersen, of Ecological Instincts, Environmental Consulting and EcoDesign, who is serving as the technical consultant for the survey. She said Friday the plan is to survey the developed land around Great Pond this year and Long Pond next year.

The alliance is a consolidation of the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance and the Maine Lakes Resource Center.

Jespersen noted that the last survey, in 1999-2000, took two years to complete because it was done by only a few volunteers. The hope this time is to have enough volunteers to complete the survey within two weeks.

Volunteer training was to take place Saturday at the Belgrade Town Office. The volunteer surveyors will be wearing bright green BLA T-shirts.

The association’s website says, “This survey must be completed in order to apply for a permit from the State of Maine to treat Great Pond for excess phosphorous.”

And the news release notes, “Great Pond is on the State’s list of Priority Watersheds due to declining water clarity, including changes in the available oxygen in deep areas of the lake, which negatively affects fish habitat and can result in algal blooms.”

Landowners were to receive letters from the association last month seeking permission to survey their property.

Other organizations partnering in the project are Lake Stewards of Maine, the Kennebec County Soil & Water Conservation District, the towns in the watershed and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, according to the Belgrade Lakes Alliance summer newsletter.

While largely in Belgrade and Rome, Great Pond reaches into Mercer, Oakland and Smithfield as well.

Survey results are to be included in a Watershed Survey Report, which is to be published on the Belgrade Lakes Association website.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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