Request for Qualifications: Province Lake Road Management Plan

The Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance (AWWA) has been awarded funding from NHDES, through a grant from Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, for implementation of the “Province Lake Watershed Management Plan Implementation Phase 1: Addressing High Priority Actions and Building Local Capacity” project. Province Lake lies in Wakefield and Effingham, NH and Parsonsfield, ME and is listed on the NHDES 303(d) list as impaired for Aquatic Life Use due to high levels of phosphorus and chlorophyll-a and for Primary Contact Recreation due to recurring cyanobacteria blooms.

AWWA invites interested contractors to submit qualifications for the development of a Road Management Plan for Bonnyman Road and Route 153. The selected consultant will work closely with AWWA, the Province Lake Association, NHDES and other project stakeholders to implement surface water quality restoration tasks within the Province Lake watershed.

For the full project description and to download the RFQ, please visit:

Who Were Those Blue Shirts on Aug. 23rd?

If you were out and about on the morning of August 23rd, you may have seen a bunch of people walking along Rte 153 with blue shirts on .. so who were they and what were they doing?

IMG_6347 001

On that sunny morning, members of the Province Lake Association (PLA), Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance (AWWA), and concerned citizens in the area took to cleaning up the RT-153 beach at Province Lake. The cleanup began bright and early on Saturday morning as volunteers set out along the Rt-153 beach, picking up every piece of trash and debris they could find. Items found ranged in size from cigarette butts to signs, and over 2,400 pieces of trash were removed, resulting in 273 pounds of garbage being taken to the dump.


Yes we did use a household scale to weigh everything!

Yes we did use a household scale to weigh everything!

Some of the more disturbing items found on the beach were the 19 soiled diapers, 10 pieces of animal waste (i.e dog poop), and a used tampon. Sadly, we expected the hundreds (if not thousands) of cigarette butts picked up along Rt-153, however the most astonishing thing we found were the hundreds of remnants of fire crackers. Little bits and pieces of plastic, paper and cardboard littered the beaches from Fourth of July and other celebrations. The chemical issues with fireworks fired over lakes have been discussed before, however we were all surprised by the physical effect their casings leave on the landscape. The sheer amount and variety of trash on the beach is a sobering reminder of the need to increase the value of the lake in the minds of those who enjoy it.

The PLA beach cleanup was a resounding success this year, and we hope it becomes a lauded tradition on the lake as the summer winds down. With a bit of hard work, we might just find ourselves picking up less and less trash each year.

Special thanks to volunteers: Pete Dinger, Neil Rowe, Lorna Connelly, Ashley Connelly, Linda Schier, Donna Davis, Larry Moody, Carl Davis, Don Harrison, Rick Zani, Kathleen Zani, Phil Colburn, Marylyn Colburn, Kathi Healey, Loretta Campbell, Peter Campbell, Mindy-Schumann Vye, Tucker Vye, Jon Samuelson and Sam Wilson. Thanks for coming out on a Saturday morning to make Province Lake a better place to visit and live!

The Volunteers ... or most of them.

The Volunteers … or most of them.

Beach Clean Up

Grab your family, friends and neighbors and join in the Rte 153 Beach Clean Up on August 23rd.  This will be a great opportunity to spend a short amount of time helping your lake and involving/teaching your kids too.  Although it is a long beach, it shouldn’t take too long, so come out and support the Watershed Plan.  See attached for more info and sign up.

Beach Cleanup Flyer 2014

Watershed Action Plan Q&A Document Available!

The Q&A doc we created based on the input from several members and other area folks in regards to the Watershed Action Plan can be viewed by clicking the link below.  The draft version of the Action Plan was created at a meeting in mid January.  In order to get input from those not able to attend the meeting we gathered comments, questions and suggestions via phone and e-mail.  Thanks to all that contributed.  Some of the comments/suggestions resulted in edits to the action plan and the attached is the answers to the questions that came in.  Several questions were similar, so the wording may not be exactly what an individual had asked as we tried to consolidate them.  As always, any further comments, questions, suggestions or concerns you may have in regards to the Watershed Plan or anything else are always appreciated.  There will be more coming in regards to the Watershed Plan specifically as we look to have the final report ready for the Annual Meeting on July 19.  Here is the link:

PLA Q _A summary April 2014


UNH’s Dr. Haney Returns for Winter Water Sampling

It has been a very long winter up this way as I am guessing it has for lots of you.  As you may recall, Dr. Jim Haney of UNH’s Center for Fresh Water Biology and his class of students visited the lake in September of 2013 to get some lake samples and do some tests … you can read more about that by clicking the link below:

Well, Dr. Haney and a couple of his assistants returned to the lake on Thursday, the 28th of March 2014 to get some more samples during the winter.  The Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance (AWWA), one of our partners in the watershed plan development, has posted a nice write up, photos and videos that you can enjoy at this link:
For those wondering how thick the ice is, watch the video of the auger cutting the hole in the ice and see how far he goes …. I think it will be a while for ice out!


Watershed Draft Action Plan Posted

The meeting presentation from the January 18, 2014 Watershed Action Planning meeting and the resultant draft action plan are posted below in PDF format.  We are looking for questions/comments/recommendations etc. from any and all that read these.  Since we are looking to finalize the action plan and keep the planning process moving forward we request that any comments etc. be sent to no later than Friday the 7th of March 2014.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and interest in helping to protect our lake.

The Watershed Steering Committee



Watershed Survey Report and Septic Survey Report Posted

The survey results of the Watershed Survey conducted on May 18, 2013 and the survey results of the Septic Survey conducted on August 24, 2013 have been completed and are linked below for your reading pleasure.  The Watershed Survey also includes a Summary document which is a short 2 pager.

The full text versions of both have some very good information about the watershed and the lake and both are a pretty easy and short read.

Enjoy and should you have any questions, you can e-mail us at or call us at 207-200-3234.

Province Lake Watershed Survey Report       

Province Lake Survey Summary Sheet 2013

Province Lake Septic Survey Final Report

January 18, 2014 – Watershed Action Planning Meeting

The Province Lake Association (PLA) in conjunction with the Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance (AWWA), FB Environmental Associates and New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NH DES) will hold a Province Lake Watershed Action Planning Meeting on Saturday January 18, 2014 from 9 am to noon (registration at 8:30) at the Greater Wakefield Resource Center, 254 Main Street, Union, NH. Forrest Bell and Jen Jespersen from FB Environmental Associates will present a summary of our Watershed Management Plan which includes the results from the Watershed and Septic Surveys conducted this past summer. More importantly – we would like to gather your input about what you think the critical components are to incorporate into the plan as we move towards the future of protecting Province Lake.
This meeting is the next phase of work resulting from a watershed assistance grant awarded by NH DES to the PLA. The end result will be a management plan for the Province Lake watershed. Once the plan is complete, future grant funds will be available to support local projects for the implementation of the recommended action items.
Community leaders from the three towns surrounding Province Lake (Effingham, NH, Wakefield, NH and Parsonsfield, ME) are encouraged to participate. A key to local economic vitality (including property values and tourism) is clean water. Having the perspectives of the community decision makers is essential to creating a useful and relevant document that will help guide future planning decisions relating to protecting the water quality of Province Lake. The best and most effective plans are those with the most community input.
All interested community members are encouraged to lend their voice to this process. Please share this invitation with your friends, neighbors and/or other interested parties. Snacks and lunch will be provided. To facilitate our planning, we request that you please RSVP by calling the Province Lake Association at 207 200-3234 or e-mail to . Additional information regarding the Watershed Plan can be found on the this website.

UNH Limnology Class Visits Province Lake

If you were around the lake on the 3rd of September in the afternoon, you may be asking why were there 3 pontoon boats tied together and anchored in the middle of the lake and who are all those college age people with orange life jackets on those boats?  Before we answer those questions, we at the PLA need to first give a huge thank you to fellow members Bill Brady, Mary McLoughlin, Laurie Grenier, and Marion & Tony Chouinard for the use of their pontoon boats.  Bill & Mary and Laurie just gave us the keys to use their boats and Marion actually also volunteered her time to pilot her boat … THANK YOU!

Now for those questions … The answer is quite simple … the boats were carrying about 10 UNH students, 2 UNH professors, 2 UNH teaching assistant as well as representatives from the PLA, AWWA and NH DES.  The UNH attendees were all part of Dr. Jim Haney’s and Dr. Alan Baker’s  Field Limnology class and they were gathering samples and doing all sorts of tests on Province Lake.

Dr. Haney instructs a student on how to conduct a test.

Dr. Haney instructs a student on how to conduct a test.

The students worked diligently on completing tests while at the lake as well as gathering samples for further analysis back at the UNH labs.  They were testing for Total phosphorus, lake water microcystin toxins, Chlorophyll-a, phytoplankton and zooplankton, dissolved oxygen, temperature, conductivity, Secchi disk depth, tissue analysis of mussels and fish, and they took a core sample of the lake bottom.  I am sure there were other things also being tested for.  All of this data will be used first for the students and their course requirements, but will also be supplied to the PLA so we can in turn use the data in the Watershed Management Plan modeling that is being conducted by FB Environmental.  This was a great opportunity for the lake and we thank Dr.’s Haney and Baker for using our lake as part of their studies.  Following are photo’s from the day … and more photo’s can be seen in the Photo’s section of the website.

Dr. Baker assists students in reading the results.

Dr. Baker assists students in reading the results.

TA Jon Dufresne explains how to get the next sample.

Teaching Assistant Jon Dufresne explains how to get the next sample.

Dr. Haney reads the results.

Dr. Haney reads the results.

Dr. Haney prepares the YSI Multiprobe.

Dr. Haney prepares the YSI Multiprobe.

Dr. Haney explains the gravity sediment corer.

Dr. Haney explains the gravity sediment corer.

Back to the Davis' to collect mussels and other interesting stuff!

Back to the Davis’ to collect mussels and other interesting stuff!