The Friends of Messalonskee plan to conducting a survey Sept. 29-30 of the developed land areas in the Messalonskee Lake watershed. Contributed photo

The Friends of Messalonskee plan to conduct a survey Sept. 29 and 30 of the developed land areas in the Messalonskee Lake watershed, which includes portions of land within Oakland, Belgrade, Sidney, Mount Vernon, Readfield, Manchester and Augusta.

The survey is meant to identify and prioritize sources of erosion and stormwater runoff that may affect the water quality of the lake, which is on Maine’s priority list of threatened lakes. The last survey of the watershed was conducted in 2003.

Current information is needed to help develop a watershed-based protection plan to protect and improve water quality in the lake. An updated survey is required in order for the nonprofit to apply for state and federal grants from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The funds can provide cost-sharing opportunities to landowners, road associations, and towns to complete improvements for sites identified during the survey. Acquiring grant funding is a two- to three-year process that begins with the volunteer assisted watershed survey.

Residents owning land in the Messalonskee Lake watershed were to be notified by mail the week of Sept. 6. Participation in the survey is voluntary, and landowners do not need to be present to participate.

All survey work will be completed in compliance with state COVID-19 guidelines to ensure the safety of survey volunteers and landowners.

For more information or to become a trained survey volunteer, contact the nonprofit at 207-618-8723 or [email protected].

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