On May 14th, more than a hundred town residents and lake minded visitors from nearby towns gathered in the Great Hall and the Town Hall for the Water Summit. The fourth annual Water Summit is presented by Wentworth Watershed Association in partnership with all the lake associations in Wolfeboro- including Rust Pond Association, Mirror Lake Protective Association and Lake Winnipesaukee Association.
This year’s water quality topic focused on salts and sediment in stormwater runoff. Ted Diers, Watershed Administrator at NH Department of Environmental Services dove into the topic of salt application- in his talk, “The Good, the Bad and Ugly of Water Quality. Ted talked about the state of water quality in New Hampshire. He shared some encouraging stats about the normalization of best management practices or water infiltration practice by the state, municipalities, and residents. He showed how climate change is starting to effect lake health with earlier ice outs, rising temperatures, and more reports of cyanobacteria blooms. He also explained that with so many freezes and thaws over the winters, roads are getting icier, so more road salts are being applied.
Most of his talk focused on the impact that road salts have ground water and surface water. A major takeaway is that once salt enters an environment it never leaves. He also explained that the salt we are seeing in lakes today was the salt that was applied 10 years ago. The salt we are applying this year will be seen in lakes and ground water over the next 10 years, so we can expect the issues to increase dramatically in coming years from the increase of salting over the last 20 years. He urged towns and the public to reduce salting as much as they can because chlorides effect human health, wildlife, aquatic organisms, terrestrial and emergent plants, and aquatic plants. Basically, chlorides in the environment effect all living organisms.
He urged community members to hire Green Snow Pros (trained plow drivers who know best practices for sanding and salting), monitoring salt application and speaking up when parking lots are crunchy, reducing the use of water softeners and properly maintaining dirt roads. Education is the key to changing people’s behavior so please talk to your neighbors and business owners and share how salt and sediment reduces water quality. Be part of the solution!
Russ Lanoie who literally wrote the book, A Ditch in Time, on dirt/ gravel road maintenance, teased the hands-on dirt road workshop that took place at the Wentworth Watershed Association headquarters on June 18th.
Spokespersons from each lake association shared current initiatives- like the completion of construction portion of Phase IV- 319 project at Pierce Camp Birchmont and Fernald Avenue- Wentworth Watershed Association and Town of Wolfeboro, the watershed management plan for Wolfeboro Bay Lake Winnipesaukee and Wolfeboro Waters Committee, the Rust Pond planned project to mitigate the sedimentation of the shallows by their dam, and the data project that is being completed by the Mirror Lake Association.
It was a spectacular community event that can be watched in entirety on Wolfeboro Community Television’s YouTube channel.
Thank you to all of community partners, sponsors and attendees!
The Wolfeboro Fund- NH Charitable Foundation, Edward Jones- Kevin Lawlor, Financial Advisor, and Wolfeboro Waters Committee
Event Sponsors- Crootof Family, D.F. Richards Energy, Lake Winnipesaukee Association, Mirror Lake Protective Association, New Hampshire Boat Museum, Rust Pond Association, WWA Dive Team & Weed Watchers