The Boothbay Region Water District’s Source Water Protection Project is among eight recipients of 2015 Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program grants. BRWD has been awarded $85,630 to purchase and conserve 68 acres of forested land in the Adams Pond watershed and to restore about 600 feet of stream. BRWD will use its own watershed conservation funds to match the MNRCP grant and the property will be preserved under a conservation easement to be held by the Boothbay Region Land Trust (BRLT).
“Healthy watershed forests, wetlands and streams are critical to Adams Pond water quality. We are delighted to receive this grant, which will help us provide additional protection to the public water supply for generations to come,” BRWD Natural Resources Program Manager Sue Mello said.
“BRLT is excited to be partnering with BRWD on this project,” BRLT Executive Director Nick Ullo said, “We look forward to continuing this partnership into the future to ensure the safeguarding of the watershed.”
The Maine Natural Resource Conservation Grant Program was created in 2007 to manage and allocate funds collected by Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)’s In-Lieu Fee Compensation Program. This voluntary program allows developers whose projects impact wetland resources to pay a fee directly to DEP as an alternative to traditional mitigation. Collected fees are made available through the MNRCP grant program, which allocates funds, based on the type and location of original wetland impacts, to projects that will restore, enhance and preserve natural resources across the state. The Nature Conservancy administers the program and an interagency group of state and federal agencies decides which grant projects are funded. In 2015, 19 individual MNRCP grant applications were proposed and eight projects were awarded a total of $883,647.
BRWD currently owns over 100 acres within the 960 acre Adams Pond watershed, the majority for source water protection. This latest land acquisition is a property with over 10 acres of wetlands, four small stream drainages and acres of wooded, undeveloped land.
“Small headwater streams, wetlands and intact forests, particularly those that border streams, are key habitats that protect both surface and ground water quality,” Mello said, “This property has everything we look for when we think about safeguarding the public water supply.”
The current property owners, Carl and Jeannie Hamrin, have been excellent stewards of the 68-acre parcel, which is adjacent to their residence. For many years, the Hamrins have used the land for recreation and timber harvest, under the guidance of a forest management plan.
BRWD is not only thankful for the grant opportunity, they are particularly thankful to the current property owners.
“The whole community should be grateful to the Hamrins for protecting this valuable property for so many years and for their willingness to ensure it will be protected in perpetuity,” District Manager Jon Ziegra said.
BRWD hopes to complete the Hamrin property purchase by this spring and stream restoration work will be completed over next summer. Fluvial geomorphologist John Field, who uses trees and natural structures to restore streams and rivers, will accomplish the restoration work and monitoring for BRWD.