POLAND — The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has awarded the Thompson Lake Environmental Association $87,938 to reduce sediment going into the lake in Casco and Poland. The federal grant is for two years.

TLEA has committed to spend $10,000, with an additional contribution in in-kind service. It has received grants to conduct nonpoint source pollution work.

The latest one was written by Heather True of the Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District. She will administer the project.

TLEA members said in a statement released recently that the grant proposal emphasized that Thompson Lake has good water clarity and high dissolved oxygen ratings, but “there are signs that [Thompson’s] water quality could be declining.”

It was also noted that in 2012, dissolved oxygen levels in the deepest area of the lake were 6.1 parts per million, the lowest ever recorded. The lake’s slow flushing rate of once every three years also makes it sensitive to small increases in phosphorus, which leads to algae growth and can be harmful to fish habitat, TLEA members said.

CCSWCD staff will install best management practices at 14 priority sites in Casco and Poland. The sites were previously identified in a watershed survey conducted by TLEA.

TLEA’s Youth Conservation Corps will be involved in implementing conservation practices at 16 town road and residential sites in Casco and Poland.

This summer a survey will be conducted to document all previously installed best management practices. The survey will identify where more maintenance is needed, and what that maintenance would involve. Results of the survey will be mailed to property owners.

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