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Wolfeboro Waters acting to protect water quality

September 16, 2020
WOLFEBORO — Wolfeboro Waters is a committee whose members and tasks cover a wide range of efforts pertaining to the health of the lakes and waterways of Wolfeboro. From water quality monitoring to stormwater mitigation to involvement in developing support for public works projects such as the water gardens at Bean Railroad Park and the Mast Landing parking area, and more recently, plans to address drainage and storm water mitigation at the town's treasured Carry Beach, it has its work cut out for it.

The Cyanobacteria Committee, initiated earlier in response to a toxic bloom in Winter Harbor, is now under the umbrella of this far reaching committee, which keeps abreast of news from the numerous lake associations dedicated to protecting the local environment and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.

While it is obvious that everyone benefits from protecting our area lakes and the work of the committee delves into environmental science, engineering and creating appropriate Shorefront Residential District ordinances, it may not be as readily apparent that all residents, including those who do not live on the water, are a necessary part of the process. Individual actions make a difference.

Rich Masse, a new member to the committee, but a longstanding volunteer with Wentworth Crescent Watershed initiatives says the various associations are all interconnected. Ultimately, he says, individual attention and engagement as to how one's property handles storm water and snow melt, and the forces of erosion in play as water travels down toward the lake, is key to determining the water quality in our numerous lakes and ponds.

Wolfeboro Waters can be a resource to property owners by connecting them to New Hampshire Department of

Environmental Services (NHDES), programs at UNH, and lake associations.

Kathy Barnard, chairman of the Mitigation and Prevention subcommittee, and member Mike Turner, are putting together a fact sheet this fall for an anticipated early spring roll out of a brochure to private property owners in the watershed area.

"Ninety-eight percent of them want to do something but don't know what to do," says Barnard.

Barnard, also chairman of the Planning Board, says that the Shorefront Residential District Ordinance, last revised seven years ago, is under review - " It's always good to take a look and see how we can make the ordinances better without being onerous," she says, adding that board member Peter Goodwin is beginning the work, along with others, of developing a water quality chapter.

Before the pandemic came ashore, putting a pall on social activity, Wolfeboro Waters was planning to set up neighborhood information cookouts for residents within the watershed, not necessarily on the water, to learn how they can participate in sustaining a clean, healthy environment for our community, says Abby Adams of the Communications Subcommittee.

"There are a lot of committed, energetic people" who care about the environment, she says.

Face to face interactions are presently limited, but Adams and others are ready to ramp up activity when the situation changes. Until then, committee members are engaged in numerous endeavors in the interest of water quality and available through the town website, which links to the Wolfeboro Waters website. Town Webmaster Beverly Woods says she is currently in the process of revising the website to be more user friendly and invites viewers to share questions and suggestions for improvement with her at itassistant@wolfeboronh.us.

Klumb Environmenta;
Varney Smith
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