Federal Grant to help restore Little Sebago watershed

Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation Districts federal grant request on behalf of the Little Sebago watershed was recently approved.This grant allows the ongoing partnership between LSLA, CCSWCD, and MDEP to move into phase 3 of watershed protection and mitigation projects that started in 2002 with a complete 2 year survey of the 13 sq. mile watershed of Little Sebago.The survey located and evaluated sedimentation and erosion problems in the watershed affecting the water quality of the lake and rated their severity.As a result of the survey, physical remediation work began in the spring of 2004 with a combination of federal and local funds addressing over 130 erosion and sedimentation sites so far with a projected reduction of soil and sediment entering the lake of over 56 tons per year.In addition phosphorous transport into the lake has been reduced by over 28 lbs. per year.

The remedial work has taken many forms from simple drip line trenches, water bars on driveways, and shoreline stabilization projects at private residences to complete rebuilding of roads and ditches to reduce run off and sediment transport into the lake.These projects embody the work and cooperation of individual property owners, road associations, the towns of Windham and Gray as well as our lake association, CCSWCD and the MDEP.Funds and in kind donations of labor and material are required from homeowners, road associations, the towns, and our lake association to be eligible for the federal grant funds.CCSWCD writes the grant proposals and acts as the management body throughout the process with guidance from a steering committee made up of LSLA board members and representatives from the towns.

The present federal grant combined with donated funds, labor, material, and services as part of the phase III project will provide nearly $170,000 for implementation of the abatement projects outlined in the proposal.A minimum of 43 sites are planned for work with several being roadway projects which are generally the largest contributors of sedimentation and phosphorous to the water body.There is also a consultation and engineering component to the proposal that will provide free technical help to landowners and road associations to design remedies to erosion issues.Additionally the Youth Conservation Core that has been working in our watershed for about three years, partially funded by LSLA, will be involved in projects and available to carry out work on identified sites.In all it is hoped the work under this grant proposal carried out over the next two years will further reduce sediment transport and associated phosphorous by another 46 tons per year.

If you have, or know of, an erosion or sedimentation site that is affecting our lake please let one of our board members know.We will review it in relation to the original survey and evaluate it for potential inclusion in the mitigation efforts under this new initiative.

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