Sunday, January 17, 2010

Maine DEP and Maine DOC lied

Never make concessions or deals with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection,
Department of Conservation or SAPPI. They signed a letter stating the intent to form a steering committee to monitor the impacts of the 1997 Lake level management plan. It never happened. Whenever DEP or DOC makes promises do not believe them. Promises were also made to have the 2 in 9 year late fall lowering happen in the first years. SAPPI only did it once in the first 9 years. Ron Lovaglio, DOC Commissioner at the time, would become SAPPI's northeast regional manager.
One high ranking employee was demoted by Lovaglio for speaking out about the destruction of Songo Beach by SAPPI's increase in summer lake levels for increased hydro profits. This one employee was key in the publicity battle for control of Sebago Lake's water levels. It was very strategic for SAPPI and their high water coalition to have him silenced by the DOC. The Portland Water District's vocal support for a return to pre-82 lake levels and fluctuations suddenly evaporated. Also, they shied away from monitoring the damage of what was happening. Below are the excerpts from the 1997 EIS describing the plan. FERC must not mind being misled.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Project 2984 -Sebago Lake 1997
Relicensing of Eel Weir Dam

C. Approval of Settlement
There are three elements of the settlement plan that require clarification to permit proper implementation and enforcement of the plan—two of which were addressed in the lake level management plan filed by Warren but not expressly addressed in the settlement plan. In the April 3, 1995 filing, Warren proposed to conduct certain studies of the effects of the lake level management plan, and provide the result of the studies to the public, upon request, and to the Maine resource agencies.
We are approving that proposal, with certain minor revisions, with the proviso that the steering committee that Maine proposes to form to discuss and determine monitoring requirements and study needs for evaluating the plan may change the plan for conducting these studies. The Commission must be given notice of any such changes in monitoring and study requirements..

p. 17-18
The Maine DEP states its intention to set up a committee to monitor and study the results of implementation of the settlement plan, with representation of all the affected interests that reached agreement in this settlement plan, and we are requiring Warren to participate in such a committee, if formed. Obviously, if were to receive a broadly supported proposal to amend the plan from such a representative body, we would give it favorable consideration. However, it would appear that a cycle of at least nine years, more likely ten, will be necessary before any meaningful evaluation of its effects on the rate of erosion can be made.

Friday, January 15, 2010

FOSL Files Formal FERC Complaint against S.D. Warren at Sebago Lake

On Friday, Feb. 15, 2010 Friends of Sebago Lake filed a formal complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) against S.D. Warren, owner of the outlet dam at Sebago Lake, for violating its federal license requirement to lower the lake to 261 feet msl in two of every nine years.

These lowerings of the lake in the fall and winter are essential to allow for the replenishment and restoration of the lake's natural beaches.

The complaint can be read here.

In a license amendment issued in 1997, the FERC required S.D. Warren to lower the level of Sebago Lake during the fall to 261 feet mean sea level in two of every nine years. During the first nine-year cycle (1997-2005), S.D. Warren only lowered the level once, in 2001. This was despite the fact that the period 1999-2003 was one of the worst drought periods in recent Maine history.

Since 2001, S.D. Warren has only lowered the lake to 261 msl once, in 2007. This failure has caused S.D. Warren to violate its federal license granting it the right to own and operate the Eel Weir Dam at the outlet of Sebago Lake.

The reason for this requirement is that natural lake beaches require occasional low water levels, especially during the fall, to allow for beach replenishment and restoration from high water storm events. This process is called "beach accretion," and occurs when wave action, at low water, pushes sand back up the beach profile as the water level slowly rises.

Since 1987, when S.D. Warren began keeping the Sebago Lake much higher than its natural, historic average, there have been insufficient low water events in the fall to allow for beach replenishment and rebuilding. This, coupled with storms at high water levels, has caused massive erosion of the lake's miles of natural beaches and the collapse of formerly stable, vegetated areas along Sebago Lake's 100 miles of shoreline.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The real "China Lake Syndrome"

January 10, 2010

Natural Resources Committee
Hearing LD 1577

No one in local Town government wants to go against the DEP because local politicians fear their environmental projects would simply “not be funded” if the DEP doesn’t like the politics of a particular Towns position on a land or water issue.

The remedy for that unfortunate problem is taking the money granting power from the DEP and placing it in an autonomous authority.

By doing so Towns like China would be less hesitant to voice their opinions in a public forum. Please read the record from the 2003 hearing and note the only position the Town of China felt they could take on the controversial issue of the China Lake water level was that the Town wanted “clean water”.

Many if not all the Selectmen were aware of the sordid history of the DEP’s involvement in the water level issues at China Lake.

The Lake was raised, keeping it well above its traditional spring flood level all summer and through the winter by using the flood control dam on the China Lake Outlet Stream as an impoundment dam beginning in 1969.

This impoundment was done to provide water to insure a constant flow in the outlet stream to dilute the licensed wastewater the DEP was about to sign off on.

In the mid nineteen seventies the DEP issued a permit to the Vassalboro Sanitary District to construct three crude sewerage plants on the outlet stream thus allowing 72,000 gallons a day of municipal wastewater to be dumped into the outlet stream, This was done without the notice or benefit of a public hearing.

In the spring of 1983 the Town of China was flooded. I think Ms. Pray is providing pictures of that unnecessary disaster. That same year someone circulated a petition under the “Dams Abandonment Act” giving the BEP control of the water levels in China Lake. (the act had just been modified, in 1983, coincidently fitting what the hearing was to be about providing dilution water to the sewerage plants about to be licensed, under the table, by the DEP)

That petition had little effect on the already raised water level but it did take away the right of the people in China to deal directly with the new owners of the Outlet Dam (The Town of Vassalboro).

I’m sure the residents of China felt they were doing the right thing in having the State (Experts) set the water level and manage the lake. When in effect nothing changed except it became a huge legal wall to scale to either have yourself heard or get anything done about the problem. The Vassalboro Sanitary District and the Town of Vassalboro were now protected by having the State between them and the victims of the unnaturally stable and high water levels.

This bill seems to carry that one step further by eliminating the BEP as an appeals board and making the DEP the sole authority.

In ’97 the DEP opposed a new hearing and the Board of Environmental Protection had to step in and over ruled the DEP and granted the hearing.

In 2003 the DEP again opposed a hearing and the Board over ruled them again and granted the hearing.

No one is perfect, no decision is perfect, but there should be a means of change and it should not be held solely by the organization that was involved in bringing on the problem in the first place.

The DEP has made, advised and supported many changes to China Lake:

Raising natural water levels on a lake with a 22 mile shoreline is a mistake.
Adding five vertical feet of water to the important wetlands around a sensitive lake is a huge mistake.
Not allowing natural fluctuation in a natural lake is a mistake.
Not allowing important seasonal fluctuation in the natural wetlands surrounding China Lake is a huge and fatal mistake to the functions and values of those wetlands to the lakes environment and to water quality. (The China Lake wetlands are now a mono-culture instead of the naturally diverse environment a natural water level and fluctuation would provide).
Lowering the water level a couple of feet late in the fall taking water in the huge wetlands surrounding China Lake away from beaver lodges and muskrat lodges so the animals can’t get to their food supply under water, is a mistake. (beaver and muskrat lodges are built at the fall water level to keep open water inside and under them allowing the animals to get to their stored winter food supply. Suddenly changing that water level late in the fall dooms many of the animals).
Raising the lake in the spring to extra high flood levels by nearly closing off the gates at the outlet dam keeping nearly all the flood water from the outlet stream in the spring when the trout are in need of the naturally high flow of water is a huge mistake. It deprives the trout access to spawn and to access insects for food that surely kills thousands of valuable sport fish through starvation and lack of reproductive habitat.
Trees toppling into the lake from having the soil washed away from their roots due to the abnormally high stable water level is a huge mistake over a 22 mile shoreline.
With the current DEP supported lake level order China Lake, its wetlands and its outlet stream are run completely reverse of what a natural environment would be, this is the fatal mistake for China Lake.
Not doing any studies of the effects of the above changes to China Lake is a stupid mistake.
Leaving the fox (the DEP) solely in charge of the chicken coop (lakes under State control) is a dangerous mistake and unfair for the people of Maine if the Legislature chooses to allow this bill to go forward.

The DEP already has too much control with its jurisdiction over grant monies and now it is looking to protect itself against review by anyone but itself regarding vitally important water level issues.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Silica Depletion Bibliography

I want to thank Lars Rahm and Nualgi Inc. for providing many of these resources. I will gladly add any other works that relate to dissolved silica importance to ecosystems, silica depletion, and how silica fluxes are affected by hydrology. Please send them or any corrections to - Roger Wheeler

Silica Depletion Bibliography

1. Rahm, L. and Danielsson, Å. (2007). Spatial heterogeneity of nutrients in the Baltic Proper, Baltic Sea. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 73, 1-2, 268 – 278.

2. Danielsson, Å., Papush, L. and Rahm, L. (2008). Alterations in nutrient limitations – Scenarios of a changing Baltic Sea. J.Mar.Syst. 73, 3-4, 263-283..

3. Conley, D.J., Humborg, C., Smedberg, E., Rahm, L., Papush, L., Danielsson, Å., Clarke, A., Pastuszak, M., Aigars, J., Ciuffa, D. and Mörth, M (2008). Past, present and future state of the biogeochemical Si cycle in the Baltic Sea. J.Mar.Syst.

4. Humborg, C, Rahm, L, Conley, C, Tamminen, T and von Bodungen, B (2008). Silicon and the Baltic Sea. Long-term Si decrease in the Baltic Sea – A conceivable ecological risk? J. Mar. Syst. 73, 3-4, 221-222.

5. Papush, L, Danielsson, Å and Rahm, L. (2009). Dissolved Silica budget for the Baltic Sea. Journal of Sea Research (accepted for publ.).

6. Sferratore, A., Billen, G., Garnier, J., Humborg, H. and Rahm, L. (2008). Modelling nutrient fluxes from sub-arctic basins: comparison of pristine vs. dammed rivers. J. Mar. Syst. 73, 3-4, 236-249.
7. Humborg, C., Smedberg, E, Blomqvist, S, Mörth, C-M, Brink, J, Rahm, L, Danielsson, Å and Sahlberg, J (2004). Nutrient variations in boreal and subarctic Swedish rivers: Landscape control of land–sea fluxes. Limnology & Oceanography, 49, 5, 1871-1883.

8. Pacini, N, Harper, DM, Ittekkot, V, Humborg, C and Rahm, L (2009). Nutrient processes and consequences. In: Ecohydrology – processes, models and case studies. Eds. DM Harper, M Zalewski and N Pacini. CABI Int., Wallingford., 30 – 45.

9. Humborg, C., Rahm, L., Smedberg, E., Mörth, C.-M. and Danielsson, Å., (2006). Dissolved silicate dynamics in boreal and subarctic rivers –— vegetation control over temperature? In: V. Ittekkot, D. Unger, C. Humborg and N. Tac An (eds.) “The Silicon Cycle – Human perturbations and impacts on aquatic systems”. SCOPE 66, Island Press, New York, 53-69.

10. Ittekkot, I., Humborg, C., Rahm, L., and Tac An, N (2003). Carbon Silicon Interactions. In: “Interactions of the Major Biogeochemical Cycles: Global Change and Human Impacts” Eds. Jerry M. Melillo, Christopher B. Field and Bedrich Moldan, SCOPE 61, Island Press, New York, 311-336.

11. Rahm, L., Conley D., Sandén, P., Wulff F. and Stålnacke, P. (1996). A time series analysis of nutrient inputs to the Baltic Sea and changing DSi/N ratios. Marine Ecology Progress Series,130, 221-228.

12.Humborg, C., Conley, D., Rahm L., Wulff, F., Cociasu, A. and Ittekkot, V. 2000. Silica retention in river basins: far-reaching effects on biogeochemistry and aquatic food webs in coastal marine environments, AMBIO, 29, 1, 45-50.

13. Ittekkot, V., Rahm, L., Swaney, D. and C. Humborg 2000. Perturbed Silicon Cycle discussed.
EOS, 81(18), 198-200.

14. Schelske, C. L., Stoermer, E. F., Conley, D. J., Robbins, J. A. & Glover, R. Early eutrophication in the lower Great Lakes: new evidence from biogenic silica in sediments. Science 222, 320-322 (1983).

15. Olli, K., A. Clarke, Å. Danielsson, J. Aigars, D.J. Conley, T. Tamminen. Diatom stratigraphy and long term dissolved silicate concentration in the Baltic Sea J. Mar. Systems, This issue (2007).

16. Turner, R.E. and Rabalais, N.N., 2003. Linking landscape and water quality in the Mississippi river basin for 200 years. Bioscience, 53(6): 563-572.

17. Turner, R.E. et al., 1998. Fluctuating silicate : nitrate ratios and coastal plankton food webs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 95(22): 13048-13051.

18. Humborg, C. et al., 2006. Decreased silica land-sea fluxes through damming in the Baltic Sea catchment - significance of particle trapping and hydrological alterations. Biogeochemistry, 77(2): 265-281.

19. Humborg, C. et al., 2002. Hydrological alterations with river damming in northern Sweden: Implications for weathering and river biogeochemistry. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 16(3): art. no.-1039.

20. Fonselius, S. On nutrients and their role as production limiting factors in the Baltic. Acta Hydrochim. Hydrobiol. 6, 329-339 (1978).

21. Sandén, P., Rahm, L. and F. Wulff (1991) Non-parametric trend test of Baltic Sea data. Environmetrics, 2, 263-278.

24. Gaillardet, J., Dupre, B., Louvat, P. and Allegre, C.J., 1999. Global silicate weathering and CO2 consumption rates deduced from the chemistry of large rivers. Chemical Geology, 159(1-4): 3-30.

25. Papush, L. and Å. Danielsson (2006) Silicon in the marine environment: Dissolved trends in the Baltic Sea. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelkf Science 67: 53-66.

Humborg, C., Danielsson, A., Sjoberg, B. and Green, M., 2003. Nutrient land-sea fluxes in oligothrophic and pristine estuaries of the Gulf of Bothnia, Baltic Sea. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science, 56(3-4): 781-793.
Silica: an essential nutrient in wetland biogeochemistry
Eric Struyf 1,2, Daniel J Conley , Department of Geology, University of Lund, Sweden
2Department of Biology, Ecosystem Management Research Group, University of Antwerp,

Silicon-carbon interactions in high latitude watersheds, Humborg, C,Issue, Volume 540 Numbers 1-3 / May, 2005 DOI, 10.1007/s10750-004-7104-0, Pages 69-77
Department of Applied Environmental Science, SE-10691 Stockholm University, Stockholm, 10691, Sweden, Morth, C , Department of Geology and Geochemistry, SE-10691 Stockholm, Stockholm, 10691, Sweden
Struyf, E ,Department of Quaternary Sciences, S-223 62 Lund University, Lund, SE-22362, Sweden, Conley, D J ,Department of Quaternary Sciences, S-223 62 Lund University, Lund, SE-22362, Sweden

28. Ecological Economic Interactions:
Considerations for Coastal Zone Management
Lars Rahm, University of Linköping, Sweden
Christoph Humborg, University of Stockholm, Sweden
Department of Water and Environmental Studies
Linköping UniversityTema V report, No. 28
Series editor: Ulrik Lohm
Tema Institution. Department of Water and Environmental Studies (Tema V)
Linköping University Electronic Press
Linköping, Sweden, 2004

29. Sediment resuspension as a water quality regulator in lakes
Juha Niemistö
Academic dissertation
To be presented, with the permission of the Faculty of Biosciences of the University of
Helsinki, for public criticism in Auditorium 1041, Biocenter 2, Viikinkaari 5
on October 31st 2008 at 12 noon. Helsinki 2008

30. Blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate, Alexandrium fundyense in the Casco Bay region of the western Gulf of Maine: Advection from
offshore source populations and interactions with the Kennebec
River plume
Bruce A. Keafera,��, James H. Churchillb, Donald M. Andersona
a Biology Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
b Physical Oceanography Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA Accepted 21 June 2005

31. Role of Diatoms in Silica Cycling and
Coastal Marine Food Webs
Olivier Ragueneau,Daniel J.Conley,Aude Leynaert,
Sorcha Ni Longphuirt,and Caroline P.Slomp 2006

Mar Ecol Prog Ser Vol. 271: 99–111, 2004 Published April 28
Effect of advective pore water transport on
distribution and degradation of diatoms in
permeable North Sea sediments
Sandra Ehrenhauss1,*, Ursula Witte1, Solveig I. Bühring1, Markus Huettel1,2
1Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Celsiusstraße 1, 28359 Bremen, Germany 2
Florida State University, Department of Oceanography, Tallahassee, Florida 32306-4320, USA

Hydrological Alterations and Marine Biogeochemistry: A Silicate Issue?
* Venugopalan Ittekkot, Christoph Humborg and Petra Schäfer
* BioScience, Vol. 50, No. 9, Hydrological Alterations (Sep., 2000),pp776-782
34. The Silicon Cycle: Human Perturbations and Impacts on Aquatic Systems
(Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) Series) (Paperback)

35.Limnol. Oceanogr., 45(8), 2000, 1850 –1853
�� 2000, by the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, Inc.
The transport and retention of dissolved silicate by rivers in Sweden and Finland


Science 30 July 1971:
Vol. 173. no. 3995, pp. 423 - 424
DOI: 10.1126/science.173.3995.423

Claire L. Schelske 1 and Eugene F. Stoermer 1

Eutrophication, Silica Depletion, and Predicted Changes in Algal Quality in Lake Michigan


38.Berner E.K. and R.A. Berner (1996) Global Envrironment. Water, Air, and Geochemical Cycles. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. 376p.

39.Billen, G., C. Lancelot, and M. Meybeck (1991) N, P, and Si retention along the aquatic continuum from land to ocean. In: Ocean Margin Processes in Global Change, R.F.C. Mantoura, J.M. Martin and R. Wollast (eds). Dahlem Workshop Reports, pp. 19‑44.

40.Conley, D.L., C. Schelske and E.F. Stoermer (1993) Modification of the biogeochemical cycle of silica with eutrophication. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 101: 179-192.

41.Ittekkot, V., C. Humborg and P. Schäfer (2000) Hydrological alterations and marine biogeochemistry: A silicate issue? BioScience 50(9): 776-782.

42. Mackin, J.E. and R.C. Aller (1989) The nearshore marine and estuarine chemistry of dissolved aluminium and rapid authigenic mineral precipitation. Rev. Aquat. Sci. 1: 537-554.

43. Meybeck, M. (1993) C, N, P and S in rivers: from sources to global inputs. In: Interactions of C, N, P and S Biogeochemical Cycles and Global Change. (R. Wollast, F.T. Mackenzei and L. Chou, eds). NATO ASI Series I: Global Envrionmental Change, Vol. 4., pp. 163-193. Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg.

44. Officer, C.B. and J.H. Ryther (1980) The possible importance of silicon in marine eutrophication. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 3: 83-91.

45. Smayda, T.J. (1990) Novel and nuisance phytoplankton blooms in the sea: evidence for a global epidemic. In: Toxic Marine Phytoplankton. (E. Graneli, B. Sundström, L. Edler & D.M. Anderson, eds.) Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 20-40.

46. Smayda, T.J. (1997) Bloom dynamics: physiology, behavior, trophic effects. Limnol. Oceanogr. 42: 1132-1136.

47. Smeteck, V. (1998) Diatoms and the silicate factor. Nature 391: 224-225.

48. Tréguer, P. and P. Pondaven (2000) Global Change ‑ Silica Control of Carbon Dioxide. Nature 406: 358‑359.

49. Silica fluxes and trapping in two contrasting natural impoundments of the upper Mississippi River Export
by: L. Triplett, D. Engstrom, D. Conley, S. Schellhaass
Biogeochemistry, Vol. 87, No. 3. (26 March 2008), pp. 217-230.

50. Hydrodynamics and Sediment-related Nutrient
Retention in the Lower Reach of the Iron Gate 1
Reservoir (Danube River, Romania)
Serghei Bocaniov
A thesis submitted to the Department of Environmental Resources of the International
Institute for Infrastructural, Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering (IHE Delft) in
partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Science in
Environmental Science and Technology

51.Paper No. 33-0
SIMS, Erin1, MOLLER, Sven2, PETERS, Chris3, SJOLIN, Jennifer4, ANDERSEN, C. Brannon1, LEWIS, Greg P.5, and SARGENT, Kenneth A.1, (1) Dept. of Earth and Environmental Science, Furman Univ, Greenville, SC 29613,, (2) Geology Dept, Pomona College, Claremont, CA 91711, (3) Dept. of Geology, Sul Ross State Univ, Alpine, TX 79832, (4) Dept. of Geosciences, Trinity Univ, San Antonio, TX 78212, (5) Dept. of Biology, Furman Univ, Greenville, SC 29613

52. Dissolved Silica Retention and Its Impact on Eutrophication in a Complex of Mountain Reservoirs
Journal Water, Air, & Soil Pollution
Publisher Springer Netherlands
ISSN 0049-6979 (Print) 1573-2932 (Online)
Issue Volume 189, Numbers 1-4 / March, 2008
DOI 10.1007/s11270-007-9567-x
Pages 189-198