Save the Newichawannock Canal!

The Newichawannock Canal between Great East Lake and Horn Pond forming the state border between Maine and New Hampshire is a masterpiece of 19th century civil engineering and manpower. Built to control the flow of water down the Salmon Falls River to the Great Falls Manufacturing Company’s mills in Somersworth, the canal and bridge stand today as a testament to the ingenuity and industry of the region’s citizens.

The “Save Our Canal Bridge” group, members of the Wakefield and Acton communities, is focused on preserving this special historic resource, protecting the water quality of the Salmon Falls River, and ensuring that the bridge repairs will support the necessary traffic and loads to meet the needs of public safety and convenience for the local residents and visitors. The committee is researching funding opportunities and technical assistance. This project will require significant funds and volunteer energy.

The Wakefield Heritage Commission is very interested in seeing that the area around the Newichawannock Canal and Bridge is preserved as well as recognized as an historic landmark. Pam Judge, Chairman of the Heritage Commission, is working on a grant to nominate the bridge and canal to the National Register of Historic Places. In order to accomplish this, Acton and Wakefield must support the endeavor as well as the States of NH and Maine, all four being the property owners of this area. Both towns have agreed to write letters of support and the Commission is waiting to hear from NH and Maine. Pam has also received an email of encouragement from the National Park Service stating that this would be a national example! The Commission reached out to Acton and Wakefield residents to work together for the preservation and repair of the bridge. A steering committee, which includes several residents of Veazey Point, has been formed to “Save Newichawannock”. You will hear more about this in the coming months.

If you would like to know more or be involved contact Pam Judge at pamjudge@roadrunner.com or call (603) 387-3698 or the Heritage Commission at (603) 998-0860.

About the Watershed Survey

 We are pleased to announce that the Great East Lake 2021 Watershed Report is finished and
available as a PDF link below. Many thanks to Jon Balanoff, the AWWA Executive Director, for
his perseverance in seeing the project through to this point.
We all know that our lake is very clear and clean, but the challenge before us is to keep it that
way for future generations. The survey identified many sites throughout the watershed that
threaten its present condition. Here is a quick summary of the findings:

           -25 sites were identified as having a high impact on water quality
           -97 sites were identified with medium impact
           -101 sites were identified with low impact

Of these 200+ sites, about half of them require no-cost or low-cost remediation. The other half
are more involved, more technically challenging, and will have a greater expense associated with
them. Please keep in mind that AWWA’s Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) is available to assist
with remediation projects and property owners need only pay the cost for materials, not labor.

Letters and emails have been sent to all participating members informing them if erosion issues
were found on their property or not. If issues were found, members were provided with details
of the findings and suggested remediation methods.

If you do not receive a letter or email and would like to inquire about findings on your property
you can send your request to either the GELIA Watershed Committee email or the AWWA email
address listed below to request that information. Please provide your name, the property
owner’s name and the property address in your request.

          watershedsurvey@greateastlake.org
          info@AWwatersheds.org

We urge all property owners to read the report as it’s filled with useful information, helpful
remediation options and best practices for all kinds of issues. We also want to stress the
importance of addressing issues promptly should any be identified on your property.
Thank you again to all those who assisted with this survey and thanks to everyone for helping to
keep our lake as clean, clear and beautiful as we possibly can.