EASTBROOK — During the past two years, the Hancock County Soil and Water Conservation District worked with the towns of Eastbrook and Franklin, Abrams Pond Association, Frenchman Bay Conservancy and local residents to remediate nonpoint source pollution identified during 2016’s Abrams Pond watershed survey. With a watershed protection grant provided through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Maine Department of Environmental Protection, 24 sites were assessed for polluted run-off. Four voluntary cost-share agreements were signed with landowners to install erosion and sediment control best management practices at nine sites. Seven of the nine sites were ranked high-priority (four private roads, three residential) and two medium-priority (one residential, one private road).
Approximately 60 percent of the $132,600 contributed came from a watershed protection grant and 40 percent from private sources. Much remains to be done. Additional landowners have expressed interest to receive technical and financial assistance for their properties. The town of Eastbrook has been granted additional watershed protection funding to carry on the community-led conservation initiative through 2022.
Funding for these grants, in part, is provided by the U.S. EPA under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. The funding is administered by the Maine DEP in partnership with the EPA. The Hancock County Soil and Water Conservation District is a nonprofit organization that provides local conservation leadership, encourages best practices and helps to plan and implement voluntary programs. The district works alongside willing landowners to implement incentive-based voluntary conservation practices to conserve clean water and healthy soil.