WATERFORD – Several volunteers from the Keoka Lake Association worked in the pouring rain on Sept. 18 to plant shrubs and reseed a scenic area on Keoka Lake. The site had become eroded due to foot traffic, endangering the health of the lake due to sediment pollution.

The scenic turnout, located on the south end of Keoka Lake, is a popular fishing spot for local residents and for visitors to the area. Heavy use has resulted in exposing areas of bare soil – and soil that is not stabilized by vegetation is highly erodable.

To add to the problem, boulders that had been placed to stabilize the embankment had fallen, providing a channel for sediment to be transported into the lake. When the soil, which carries the naturally occurring nutrient phosphorus, is washed into the lake, it can lead to nuisance algae growth and harm the lake’s cold water fishery.

The plan for the workshop was to alleviate the erosion problem by the planting of shrubs and grass, stabilizing the soil. Equally important was the work previously done by the town of Waterford, which included replacing the fallen boulders and cleaning out a sediment basin that had become clogged.

On Sept. 18 the volunteers worked for about four hours doing various tasks such as filling in the gaps between the boulders with smaller stones, planting shrubs, spreading loam and mulch and reseeding the area.

The work at Keoka Lake’s scenic turnout is part of the larger Keoka Lake Water Quality Improvement Project, which is a joint effort between the Keoka Lake Association, Oxford County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Lakes Environmental Association, Maine DEP and the town of Waterford.

To learn more about the Keoka Lake Water Quality Improvement Project, contact Diantha Turner, project manager, Oxford County SWCD, at 743-5789, ext. 109.

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