AWWA Collaboration

The Acton Wakefield Watershed Alliance is dedicated to protecting and restoring the water quality of lakes, rivers and ponds in the Wakefield and Acton region, and is an important GELIA partner. AWWA is a tremendous resource for information about how we can protect our lake, and runs a Youth Conservation Corp Program to assist property owners with erosion control projects.

AWWA’s mission is to protect and restore water quality to maintain the social, economic, and environmental stability in our towns and in the region. AWWA’s website is a valuable resource.

Below are a few examples of what you’ll find there:

Maine DEP Manuals and Guides to Reduce Water Pollution

Septic Systems 101

Get Involved

Technical Assistance

The History of AWWA

GELIA’s focus on lake water quality widened in 2004 to include the two watersheds in the region near the lake. Concerned about the health of the lakes, ponds, and streams associated with the Ossipee and Salmon Falls rivers. Representatives from GELIA’s Board of Directors invited concerned citizens from other lakes in Acton and Wakefield to consider forming a regional watershed alliance. The group partnered with New Hampshire and Maine state agencies, wrote bylaws, and established itself as a non profit organization: the Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance (AWWA).

AWWA’s mission is to preserve or restore the water quality of lakes within the target watersheds by sponsoring scientific study, by educating the public about the importance of water quality, and by fixing erosion and storm-water runoff problems.

Its initial task was to establish a Youth Conservation Corps modeled after a group that was successfully restoring the water quality on neighboring Mousam Lake. In its 2005 pilot project, AWWA’s YCC worked under the supervision of two Youth Conservation Corps in Maine, including the Mousam Lake group. Two local youths hired by AWWA worked with the Maine crews to complete pilot projects, one in New Hampshire, on Pine River Pond, and the other in Maine, on Great East Lake.

The next summer, armed with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funds administered by the NH-DES, strong support from local towns and local lake associations, as well as the experience from its first summer, AWWA’s YCC completed a full season of projects. The YCC’s technical director worked with 10 waterfront homeowners on Balch, Belleau, Great East, and Lovell lakes to slow storm-water runoff.

In addition to its runoff and erosion control efforts, AWWA spread the word about water quality issues by meeting with Acton and Wakefield town officials, showcasing its YCC projects, creating a program on erosion for local schools, and keeping the public informed through local newspapers and area lake association newsletters and web sites.

Support for the YCC projects came from many sources, including local businesses and individuals who donated vehicles, tools, storage space, furniture, supplies, and thousands of hours of labor. Technical assistance and advice came from personnel from the Mousam Lake YCC, ME-DEP, NH-DES, the Cooperative Extension Services of the University of New Hampshire and University of Maine.

GELIA Membership

Help Preserve Great East Lake for Years to Come

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