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Water Quality Community Meeting – August 26

(BRCA Milfoil Crew members working in Messalonskee Lake – Photo courtesy of Dr. Alex Wall)

Please join us for an update on the ongoing efforts of the Water Quality Initiative beginning at 6 o’clock. Learn how the Maine Lakes Resource Center is partnering with Colby College, the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance, and the local lake associations to protect the lakes in the Belgrade Watershed. All are welcome.

In the meantime, the weekly secchi measurements, temperature and dissolved oxygen data is presented on the online interactive map. You can also find the present and past weekly data here on the MLRC website.

Update from the MLRC Lake Science Manager

– Brenda Fekete, Lake Science Manager

I cannot believe that it is August already! The WQ Initiative team has been very busy sampling, measuring and presenting. Although we are about two weeks behind last year’s trends; with all of the recent warm weather, the lakes are showing their summer profiles!

We are often out on the water by 8 am to continue our weekly secchi disk transparencies, insitu water profiles (temperature, dissolved oxygen and pH analysis) and surface water samples (for plankton analysis) on all seven lakes. Biweekly samples include an epilimnetic core samples (for total phosphate/total nitrogen/plankton analysis). The epilimnion layer is the top region of the water that receives the most solar radiation. It is the warmest region of the lake; and therefore, the most biologically productive.

I would like to thank all of our wonderful volunteers that escort our students to the sampling sites! The students enjoy your company and appreciate your help in the sampling process.

In the afternoons we are in the Colby College labs completing our phosphate/nitrate-nitrite and metal analysis of the grab/core samples and looking at the zooplankton and phytoplankton using the FlowCam that is housed at the MLRC. Come by the MLRC lab and see the awesome pictures!

The weekly secchi measurements, temperature and dissolved oxygen data is presented on the online interactive map. This data is also being presented from 9 to noon at the Belgrade Lakes Market on Sundays at the MLRC. You can also find the present and past weekly data here on the MLRC website. We also display the data in the MLRC gallery. Come by and ask Logan Parker to explain the real time results!

We have completed lake specific brochures that explain the mission of the Water Quality Initiative and how to access and understand the results. These are presently being distributed to your lake association, the town offices, the Belgrade Welcome Center and the MLRC gallery.

Colby College Chemistry Professor and MLRC Board member, Whitney King presented an update on the progress of the Water Quality Initiative on July 29th.

We are presently getting ready to complete sediment sampling on all seven lakes in late August to early September. These samples will be used to measure the concentration of iron, aluminum and phosphate.

When in the MLRC gallery, please remember to pick up and complete a WQ survey conducted by Colby College. Your input is valuable and greatly appreciated!

We enjoyed seeing everyone at the July 29th Water Quality Assessment Meeting. We are looking forward to another presentation on August 26th at 6pm at the MLRC! See you there!

Water Quality Interactive Map Up and Running

Data collected this year as part of the Water Quality Initiative is now available online in the form of an interactive watershed map. This map will be updated each week following the student-led data presentations at the weekly Belgrade Lakes Market.

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To see this week’s water clarity, dissolved oxygen, and temperature data charted, click here.