Monday, August 25, 2008

USGS on water level impact

This was from USGS Great Lakes Science Center Website. USGS thinks water level is important to consider. Wish they would look at Maine Lakes like Sebago Lake and China Lake.

Terrestrial, Freshwater, and Marine Ecosystems

Drowned River Mouth Wetland Coastal Ecosystems

The coastal zone of the Great Lakes (defined here as those onshore and nearshore areas that are or were at one time influenced by coastal and aeolian processes) includes wetlands, drowned river mouths, shallow water habitats, oak savannas, beaches, dunes, relict coastal features and deposits, and abandoned dune fields. These coastal ecosystems offer diverse habitats that support a myriad of plant, fish, and wildlife species. The economy of many coastal areas is dependent on the recreational value of these habitats and the sport fishing, commercial fishing, hunting, birdwatching, and swimming and hiking activities associated with them. Large numbers of seasonal tourists spend millions of dollars on lodging, food, sporting goods, boat and vehicle rentals, gasoline, and personal items, which often represent the major source of income to coastal communities. The ecosystems that supply the fish, wildlife, and recreational facilities underlying that economy have been severely impacted in number, area, and quality. Degradation is often associated with human activity in the coastal zone, including industrial, commercial, residential, and agricultural development, as well as alteration of littoral and other coastal processes that supply the sediments that form and maintain natural features such as dunes, beaches, and sand spits. Yet, surprisingly little is known about the relationships between protection of natural habitat and biota and environmental factors such as water-level change, coastal sediment dynamics, coastal tributary sediment dynamics and hydrology, and ground-water contributions in the coastal zone. Understanding the interactive role of biology, geology, and hydrology in protection and maintenance of coastal features is critical to the survival of the resources important to the people living in and enjoying the coastal zone.

Jordan Bay update

I visited a camp in Jordan Bay. I had not visited this camp since the 1990s. What a decline in water quality. I could not see the bottom anymore. The rocks were coated in slime and spike rush had overtaken the bottom near shore. The beach for late August was small at two feet below full pond. The camps in this area were old and heavily wooded- no development in 60 years.
Portland Water District data is saying what I am seeing out there about the clarity decline since 1990.
What a shame. Remember Ron Lovaglio, that DOC commissioner who made it sure no State Employee would say anything about his irresponsible highly unnatural lake level plan except him. He needs to go for a swim in some of these places. Since he is a big time regional manager for SAPPI and earns a 6 figure salary plus he can afford something that is not so slimy and has , good beaches. I do not mean to be too hard on Ron after all Gov. Baldacci and his folks have Ron beat. They had a chance to help Sebago in the relicensing and all they wanted to do was make Sebago higher. Baldacci's buddy over at Point Sebago needs that water higher enough to float a boat in and have something
more than ankle deep water to swim in.
It is amazing how the State is delaying the new license. It will be at least 5 years before the State files water quality certification after the 2005 FERC license completion so the license can move forward. The Baldacci administration thinks the marinas have a good point that less water should be run out of the lake during a drought in order to insure the highest lake levels and they need a study to see how low a flow they can run in the Presumpscot before they kill all life.