HLA Annual Meeting - July 18, 2019

posted Aug 4, 2019, 12:37 PM by Joseph Bickard   [ updated Aug 4, 2019, 12:43 PM ]

HLA Annual Meeting Minutes                 : 

July 18, 6:00 - 7:30

Cornerstone Church


1.     Welcome- Rosie Hartzler

2.     Dr. Karen Wilson, USM Professor and Program Manager for Water Quality Sampling Regimen at Highland Lake gave an update on the water quality work being done on Highland Lake.  (see attached power point presentation)  

·      Pursuing the primary question – What caused the bloom in 2014 – 17?  We studied the heck out of the lake in 2018 and then the bloom did not occur.  Body of evidence indicates that it is a complex set of factors contributing to the bloom:  weather, nutrients, picocynobacteria, alewives, human activity.  

·      Primary learnings from 2018 testing:  (results still coming in) 

Secchi Disk readings from 11 sites on the lake indicated that water clarity is pretty much the same over the entire lake.

Total Phosphorus readings (volume of TP)  increased at the upper depths of the lake during the middle of the summer (July 24, 2018),   then dropped quickly back to normal (around 10-12  ppb.) 

The big question remains: Where did the extra phosphorus come from and where did it go after the bloom?

·      The dominant form of cyanobacteria is not toxic.

·      In the spring during the clear water phase many zooplankton present…. They start to disappear during the summer.. many reasons ( they get eaten, life cycle ends).

·      What is being observed already from 2019 sampling?

This year has been wetter and colder than 2018 summer

Alewife arrival was later, but due to increased water levels, adults were able to leave the lake over the lip of the dam.  Alewife count was about 35,000 – less than the 65,000 in 2018. 

Water temps at bottom of the lake actually warmer now than in 2018.  Impact of a lot of wind and rain. 

Water clarity measuring around 4 meters (STD) for past few weeks..

Lower levels of Dissolved Oxygen at bottom of the lake.

Total phosphorus is higher in June 2019, actually higher than at any time last year.   – may be related to a rainy spring leading to more run off from erosion

Sampling the sediments as potential way to discover where excess phosphorus may be coming from. 


3.     Watershed Based Management Plan. (WBMP) – Wendy Garland  and Heather Huntt

(See attached power point presentation) 

We must limit the amount of phosphorus going into the lake!

How do we keep phosphorus from the lake? Need to continually be vigilant in regards to potential erosion from water shed properties, mal functioning septic systems, camp road erosion ending up in the lake.  . 

Technical Assistance Committee tasked to develop a  WBMP that we can follow over the next 10-20 years.


A Range of Watershed assessments are included in the plan: 

·      Watershed Survey – The final Report is available at http://www.highlandlakemaine.org/latest-news-about-highland-lake/2018highlandlakewatershedsurvey

·      Septic system survey…. Presently being done by towns of Falmouth and Windham

·      Stream crossings

·      Impervious surfaces analysis – related to the septic system review

·      Outreach to small farming operations in the area

·      Assessment of other possible pollution sources


Watershed Based Management Plan – key components

·      Fix problem sites identified in the Watershed Survey – 129 identified sites

·      Reduce septic system impacts

·      Maintain/upgrade roads and implement best management practices

·      Maintain ongoing support from towns, road associations, lake association

·      Implement Water quality monitoring per status of the lake


Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) looking for feedback from watershed residents and towns of Falmouth and Windham.  The goal of the TAC plan is to submit a plan to the DEP by December, 2019


4.              BOD slate for 2019 – 2020 –presented by Tom Verlee

List of persons to be approved:

                        Cathy Costa

                        Tim Hawkins

                        John MacKinnon

                        Kim White

                        Keith Williams

                        Jolaine Ricci   

                        Kevin McElearney


Motion made  and seconded to accept the above persons.  Unanimously approved.


5.              Chantal Scott  recognized for her contributions to the HLA board for over 10 years.

6.              Watershed Grant Implementation Committee – Kevin McElearney

The HLA received two grants from the Towns of Windham and Falmouth , $13,500 and $10,000 respectively .  These are match grants to be utilized to mitigate erosion sites as noted in the 2018 Watershed Survey. ( see attached powerpoint presentation)

 Methodology used by the committee:

·      Communication with watershed residents regarding the grant opportunities

·      Education – A Buffer workshop held in June

·      Support to homeowners regarding how to best remediate erosion problems

·      Sponsorship


The HLA implemented a grants from Town of Windham during the 2018  season. 

This season, the HLA is again taking responsibility to implement grant funding in     Highland Lake Watershed. 

9 applications for grant funding approved so far this summer

60% of money still available. More applications are being processed

In a tally of all sites identified in the Watershed Survey, 15 sites completed, 6 of which were high impact sites


7.              Ordinance updates – Dennis Brown

            (see attached presentation)

·      Maximum Phosphorus amount allowed  from building project limited to .020 lbs/ acre/ year

·      Mandatory 3rd party review of all projects that come before the Planning Board


8.              Finances – Dennis Brown


9.              Fundraising – Dennis Brown


Meeting preceded by barbecue in lower level of the church;   barbecue hosted and totally funded by Cornerstone Church members and led by Ben and Vicki Adler, pastoral team. 

Business meeting held in sanctuary of the Cornerstone Church