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About Us > Spruce Creek Association Water Monitoring Project

Kittery Quarterly
July 27, 2006

In May Spruce Creek Association’s baseline water quality monitoring project entered its second year as six new volunteers joined returning monitors who helped initiate the project in 2005 with training and oversight from the Maine DEP.

Funded in large part by a grant from the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund as well as SCA member donations, the field work is undertaken entirely by volunteers from the 180-member watershed group. This year also, for the first time and thanks to the NEGEF grant, measurements are being done using the Association’s own precision instruments.

Each Tuesday from May to September a team of two volunteers goes out and monitors six sites in Spruce Creek, three above the Rt. 1 Bridge and three below, at the low and high tides. The data collected this summer and last includes water temperature at various depths, salinity and dissolved oxygen levels, all of which are measured using specialized instruments. Monitors also record visual observations of weather and water condition. The level of dissolved oxygen (DO) in a body of water is one of the best indicators of its health and its ability to support aquatic life.

How important is water health? According to Tin Smith of the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, when water quality deteriorates so does quality of life and along with it property values also go down. This was a message earlier this month when the Wells Reserve reported on its 2005 watershed non-point source pollution survey of Spruce Creek, Kittery’s largest watershed.

Spruce Creek’s baseline will be compared to Maine DEP standards in order toe better understand the current stress levels of this designated priority watershed. It will also provide an objective basis for determining the need for corrective action. A full description of the baseline water quality monitoring program alon with the complete data is available at the Association’s website at http://www.sprucecreekassociation.org/monitoring.html.

Kittery residents who would like to become members of Spruce Creek Association, or make donations, can e-mail info@sprucecreekassociation.org or call Phyllis Ford at 438-9633 or write to SCA at PO Box 53, Kittery, ME 03904.

© 2009 Spruce Creek Association. All rights reserved.info@sprucecreekassociation.org