Water Quality is critical to our enjoyment of Lake Wentworth and Crescent Lake

August is National Water Quality Month. It is a great time to bring attention to the importance of clean water – during a time when people are enjoying our local rivers, ponds and lakes. While some of our waterbodies contain aquatic invasive species and/or experience periodic algae and bacteria blooms, overall, New Hampshire is home to some of the healthiest streams, lakes and ponds in the country! You can check out the status of local beaches including Albee beach and the state park on NH’s Department of Environmental Services beaches website. http://www2.des.state.nh.us/watershed_beachmaps/watershed_beachmaps.aspx

Have you ever wondered how New Hampshire with over 800 public lakes and ponds and eight aquatic biologists can evaluate water quality? It would be impossible without the help of dedicated state-wide citizen volunteers like our water quality monitors on Lake Wentworth and Crescent Lake. Both NH DES and UNH Cooperative Extension manage water quality monitoring programs with volunteers collecting the samples. http://xml2.des.state.nh.us/blogs/lake_reflections/?page_id=129

Crescent Lake and Lake Wentworth

Crescent Lake and Lake Wentworth

Please do your part of keep our water clean and healthy.

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How I live on the landscape in the Wentworth and Crescent watershed

The Lake Wentworth Foundation’s Annual Meeting, 9:00 am Saturday, August 15, 2015 at the Wolfeboro Public Library, will feature a talk by Steve Landry of the NH Department of Environmental Services. He will be talk about:

How is my diet and how I live on the landscape in the Lake Wentworth and Crescent Lake watershed related to one another?

Is it true that our lakes are aging at an accelerated pace due to the poor “diet” we force them to digest? Are there really analogies between heart health and lake health?

Although not a doctor, Steve Landry, Merrim33970453Tack Watershed Supervisor from NHDES has seen plenty on TV and he is prepared to answer these questions and then provide attendees with a prescription for heart, lake and watershed-healthy living. Well, sort of. In truth, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has for many years encouraged states and others to develop watershed plans to help protect and restore our waters.

Due to the complex and diffuse nature of nonpoint source pollution, the substantial costs to address it, and frequent reliance on voluntary action by individual landowners, successfully addressing nonpoint source pollution to achieve water quality standards often requires years of support from a coalition of stakeholders, programs, and funding sources. Watershed planning helps address water quality problems in a holistic manner by fully assessing the potential contributing causes and sources of pollution, then prioritizing restoration and protection strategies to address these problems.

Your Lake Wentworth and Crescent Lake Watershed Management Plan provides this recommended, holistic guidance for improving the water quality of Lake Wentworth and Crescent Lake so that future generations will continue to enjoy these lakes in the same way we enjoy them today. Many of the initiatives in your plan will be carried out through partnerships with the Town of Wolfeboro and land owners to install stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) so that pollutant load reductions can be measured as progress toward your water quality goal of a 15% in-lake phosphorus reduction established in the plan. So, how can you do your part to extend the life of Lake Wentworth and Crescent Lake? Tune in on August 15th and get your “prescription” filled for healthy watershed habits!

Guided Natural and Cultural History Hike – Linda Baldwin Preserve

On Sunday, July 12, 1:00 the Lake Wentworth Foundation is offering a free Natural History and Cultural History guided walk on our Linda Baldwin Preserve at the corner of Route 28 and Route 109 in Wolfeboro.

Guides will include naturalist Martha Carlson and forester Rudy Carlson, Sandwich, NH and cultural history expert Maggie Stier, Wolfeboro.

We will start at Bartlett Tree Service , Center Street, Wolfeboro NH. for a walk through of the exemplary stormwater management installations Bartlettt is utilizing at their new site. . Then we

will mland monitoring training 2015-05-06 004ove to the corner of the Linda Baldwin Preserve next to the satellite fire station on Route 109 for parking during the walk. .

This will be an easy fairly level walk suited for a wide range of abilities and ages. However, be prepared to walk for an hour to hour and a half. It is critical you wear appropriate foot gear such as sneakers or hiking boots – we may have to cross wet land and plan to use safe tick practices.

Registration is not required.

Lake Explorer Quest Program

Lake Explorer Patch final.pdf

The NH Lakes Association invites individuals and families to get out and explore our lakes and ponds by paddling through our Lake Explorer Quest Program! Individuals/families who explore three waterbodies by canoe, kayak, paddleboard, or other paddle boat, and document their explorations with NH LAKES will earn an official Lake Explorer Quest patch. Participants must also certify that they practiced the “Clean, Drain & Dry” method for preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species and implemented safe boating practices on each excursion. (To download the Lake Explorer Patch Request Form, click here.)

Get some fresh air and exercise!

By spending time in nature we increase our connection to it, thereby increasing our tendency towards stewardship and protecting our natural world. Also, paddling is a fun way to get some exercise! Studies have shown that today’s youth are experiencing a “nature deficit” which can be detrimental to physical and mental development. Children who spend time outdoors are healthier and more creative, have better concentration, and get better grades. For more information about the benefits of children enjoying nature and the outdoors, click here. 

Stop the spread of invasive species!

The “Clean, Drain & Dry” practice to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Yes, even paddlers can transport invasive species from waterbody to waterbody, so please consistently and thoroughly inspect, clean, drain and dry your canoe, kayak, or other paddle boat, before and after boating.

Be safe!

The Lake Explorer Quest program promotes paddling safety. It is very important to follow safety procedures and guidelines while boating. Here are a few basic safety tips:

    • Before setting out on your paddling adventure…
      • Let someone at home know where you are going.
      • Check the weather forecast to ensure that storm weather is not predicted.
      • Pack a map of where you are going (maps of many NH waterbodies are available from the NH Fish & Game Department – click here).
      • Pack lots of drinking water and snacks, cell phone, first aid kit, and your life jacket.
      • Dress appropriately for the weather, wear bright colored clothes and appropriate footwear (closed-toe shoes are best).
      • Put on sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat.
    • When paddling:
      • Always wear your life jacket.
      • In areas of high motorboat traffic, stay near the shore, and approach waves head-on or at a slight angle to avoid capsizing.
      • Avoid paddling near hazards in the water (including logs, rocks, low bridges).
      • Stay hydrated and reapply sunscreen periodically.
      • Paddle to shore if stormy weather approaches.
      • If the boat capsizes, don’t panic. If in a current, keep your feet pointed downstream and keep them off the bottom to avoid foot entrapment. Stay upstream of the boat to avoid getting pinned between the boat and a rock or log. If you are too far to swim the boat to shore, you’ll need to flip your boat right side up.

The American Canoe Association offers some additional canoeing safety tips.

The U.S. Coast Guard offers additional paddleboard safety tips.

Where to go?

Through the Lake Explorer Quest, you are welcome to paddle any lake or pond of your choice in New Hampshire. For the list of New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game public access sites on waterbodies, click here.

To earn your Lake Explorer Quest patch:

It’s easy and fun! Here’s how:005 Lake Explorer Quest family

  • Explore three New Hampshire lakes or ponds by canoe, kayak, paddleboard, or other paddle boat.
  • Before and after paddling, implement the “Clean, Drain & Dry” practice to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.
  • Practice paddling safety while on your excursion.
  • Document your visits on the official Lake Explorer Patch Request Form (to download, click here). Once you have explored three lakes or ponds, forward your completed form to NH LAKES by email or mail (NH LAKES, 14 Horseshoe Pond Lane, Concord, NH 03301).
  • You will receive your Lake Explorer Patch and certificate of completion from NH LAKES in the mail!

Need to rent a paddle boat?

For a great resource for finding outfitters, rentals, and other useful sites for the paddling family, click here.

Have fun while creating wonderful family memories on New Hampshire’s lakes and ponds!

Reprinted with permission from NH Lakes Association. 

NH LAKES thanks the Dorr Foundation for their support of this program.

Coring is not just for apples anymore

On a brisk, breezy but sunlit day in early April, Lisa Doner, assistant professor of environmental studies and policy at Plymouth State University; one of her students, Victoria Santry; Don Kretchmer, local limnologist (study of lakes); and Karen Burnett-Kurie, executive director of the Lake Wentworth Foundation, ventured about a half mile out on Lake Wentworth pulling and carrying equipment. Their purpose – to collect a core sample of the sediment at the bottom of this ice-covered lake.

Setting up at one of the deepest locations on Lake Wentworth.

Setting up at one of the deepest locations on Lake Wentworth.

While Kretchmer was drilling a hole through the 21 inches of ice, Doner and Santry assembled the sediment coring equipment, including weights to help drive the collecting tube deeper into the bottom sediment. The total distance from the bottom of the lake to the top of the ice was 24.23 meters (79.5 feet). A round ball was pulled into the base of the tube once the sample was collected in order to retain the sediment within the clear cylinder. The tube was carried upright back to the shore, taking care to minimize disturbance during transport. Doing this while walking on ice can be problematic, but Doner has carried many such samples over the past seven years of core research.

Assembling the collecting equipment.

Assembling the collecting equipment.

This sample is the first of two that will be collected on Lake Wentworth and analyzed to determine factors that have influenced water quality and ______ over many years. Kretchmer says the 49 centimeter core (nearly 20 inches) collected “may cover 150 years or more years” of changes in the watershed.

The core sample emerges from the hole in the  ice.

The core sample emerges from the hole in the ice.

“The processing of data will take a few months” adds Doner, who will oversee the work to be done at PSU. Further analysis will be completed by a lab in Minnesota. The results of the sediment investigation should identify the different materials and chemicals in the layers of sediment. These will be correlated with when they were settled and what was going on in the watershed in that time period.

Kretchmer explains: “We’ll likely be able to date the 1950s due to the radioactive layer that will still be noticeable from the nuclear bomb tests conducted by the U.S. and other nations, and we might even find impacts in the sediment from the tornado which travelled across the lake a few years ago.” He adds, “there could be unknown factors that come up such as lead sediment as well as the effects of changes in the surrounding land use and forest cover”.

Although a core was taken about 10 years ago by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, the whereabouts of that sample is not known. An additional core will be taken from another deep location on Lake Wentworth this summer.

The analysis will be compared to the qualities of what a healthy lake should register. The amount of phosphorus is of particular importance for Kretchmer as that is the chemical that can cause significant growth of algae and invasive plants. The Lake Wentworth Foundation, one of the sponsors of this study, along with the Lake Wentworth Association, is a leading partner in the master plan for the Lake Wentworth and Crescent Lake Watershed with a goal of reducing phosphorus content by 15% in 10 years.

Results of the core analysis will be made public and will be published in a future newspaper article. Professor Donor, with the Center for the Environment at PSU, studies lake sediments to decipher past watershed changes. Her primary focus is on how climate interacts with other mechanisms for change including natural catastrophe (fire, flood, landslide, tsunami), human disturbance (agriculture, logging, development) and long-term trends (glaciations, tectonics, sea-level change).

The Lake Wentworth Foundation is a key leader in developing the Lake Wentworth and Crescent Lake Watershed management plan and a steward of over 160 acres of conserved land within the watershed. It is pursuing conservation of additional high-impact parcels in the watershed. For years, the LWF has provided support for water quality testing, milfoil treatment, and the lake host program led by the Lake Wentworth Association.
Information about the Foundation and its work is available on its website, www.lakewentworthfoundation.org or by contacting Karen Burnett-Kurie, Executive Director, at 603-534-0222.