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Originally published in Castine Patriot, April 19, 2012
Toddy Pond watershed survey to begin this spring

As part of the Hancock County Soil and Water Conservation District’s continuing work to help protect area lakes, the district wrote and received the Toddy Pond Watershed Survey 319 Grant from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The purpose of the grant is to conduct an erosion survey of the entire Toddy Pond watershed, which encompasses approximately 17 miles in the towns of Blue Hill, Orland, Penobscot, and Surry.

According to a press release, the watershed survey will identify sources of soil erosion, a major source of phosphorus, which can cause excessive plant growth, algal blooms, and murky water. Phosphorus and other pollutants reach the lake through storm water runoff from anywhere in the watershed.

The survey involves walking properties in the watershed to identify how water drains into the lake through ditches, small streams, or surface runoff. The district’s goal is to document trouble spots and then work to find reasonable solutions to reduce the amount of soil erosion and phosphorus draining into the lake. Any information that the district collects will be used only to analyze the pollution sources to Toddy Pond; none of the information gathered will be used for enforcement purposes.

The district is planning to conduct the survey during the spring, summer and fall of this year. If your property lies within the boundaries of the Toddy Pond watershed, the district plans to include it in the survey. If you do not want your property to be included, send a letter to Megan Facciolo, District Manager of the Hancock County Soil and Water Conservation District, 194 Main Street, Suite 202, Ellsworth, 04605 by April 23, 2012, and the district will ensure that no one crosses onto your property while conducting the survey. Include your name, physical address(es) of the property(ies), and tax map number(s) if known.

Volunteers are needed to help with the survey. Training will take place Saturday, May 5, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Blue Hill Town Hall (lunch is included) and fieldwork will start that day. The survey team will be made up of residents of the towns of Surry, Penobscot, Orland and Blue Hill and Toddy Pond property owners. Most survey sections can be completed by a team of two people in a weekend. For more information and to register as a volunteer, call the district office at 667-8663.