Many lakes, rivers, and ponds in NH experienced algae blooms in the late summer, especially with the warm temperatures that are occurring this fall. Bearcamp Pond also had several algae blooms, but none were HAB's (Harmful Algae Bloom). The frozen samples collected every other week from June through September were brought to NHDES at the end of September, where they will be analyzed.
Thanks to all members who attended our 60th Annual Member Meeting on August 5th. A wonderful presentation was made by LPC Field Biologist, Lindsay Moulton.
If you were unable to attend the meeting, please remember to send your membership dues to BCPA, Box 262, Sandwich, NH 03227. We rely on your member dues and any contributions in order to fulfill the Pond Association mission of preserving the natural beauty of the pond and its vicinity. The Association still operates at a deficit after paying the annual expense for water testing, membership in the NH Lakes Association, and a donation to the Loon Preservation Committee, so your continued support is much needed and appreciated!
Water testing results for 2016 showed that the pond remains a stable but aging pond and we are doubling our efforts to maintain this stability into the future. Although a loon pair returned to the pond this year, they did not nest.
During our first year as a NH Non-Profit 501(c)3, in addition to our regular activities related to our mission (water sampling, weedwatching, putting out loon nest) we’ve accomplished the following:
· Added 5 new members to BCPA
· Developed and launched BCPA website: which is regularly updated
· Increased community outreach and education through :
o Posting Annual Meeting notice on Tamworth Exchange
o BCPA Outreach at Town Beach with materials from Fish&Game, LPC, NHDES
o Development and distribution of materials (refrigerator magnets, Fact Sheet) to members and properties around the pond related to exotic species prevention, loon protection, and guidelines for safe enjoyment of the pond
o Obtained signage from NHDES, LPC and Fish and Game for Town Beach/Boat launch, prepared proposal for Town Selectmen approval & posted the signs
· Commenced cyanobacteria sampling and monitoring every other week in conjunction with NHDES and EPA Northeast Region
· Four BCPA members attended the VLAP Training Workshop on May 20th
· Trained six new volunteers in water sampling techniques for VLAP
News & Updates: SUMMER 2017
The Town of Sandwich recently approved a brief proposal by BCPA to post new signs at the Town Beach and boat launch on Bearcamp Pond, from NH Fish & Game, LPC, and NHDES regarding 1) lead-free fishing tackle, 2) loon protection, and 3) laws which prohibit exotic species and mandate cleaning watercraft. The new signs were posted on July 22nd and BCPA members, Bob Greene, Gail Colozzi, Linda DeMaio, Mary Hillsgrove, and April Greene-Colozzi also reached out to beach visitors with information about the three items above.
We completed the VLAP summer water sampling on August 16th. Thanks to Mary Hillsgrove, Linda and Lou DeMaio, Gerry Butters, and Michael Henle for volunteering to learn sampling procedures. At then end of September, Bob Greene and Gail Colozzi will complete the biweekly collection of water samples for DES/EPA as part of the CyanoMonitoring Program through DES/EPA.
There is a smart phone App to report an algae bloom if anyone encounters one while they're on the pond or near the shore. The App allows you to take a photo with your phone and submit it to DES and EPA along with some information (location, etc.). Here's the link to the cyanobacteria monitoring website online for basic info: http://cyanos.org/bloomwatch/ and using your smartphone. You can download the BloomWatch App on your smartphone for free from iTunes or the App store on your phone.
As always, volunteers to collect water samples three times during the summer (June, July, and August) and to be Weed (exotic plant and animal) Watchers will always be needed, so please contact us : firstname.lastname@example.org, if you'd like to help out with these most important pond association activities. In photo to right: Linda and Lou DeMaio and Mary Hillsgrove helping with July water sampling.
LEAD-FREE FISHING ON BEARCAMP
Click on the link below for all the information and details you need to know about the NH law and to use lead-free fishing tackle.. Despite the law on lead-free fishing tackle, loons continue to die from lead tackle, so if you fish, please do your part to protect and sustain this important and beautiful NH water bird.
New Laws in Effect to Protect NH Water Bodies
Click on this link: http://www.carriagetownenews.com/news/new-laws-in-effect-to-protect-nh-water-bodies/article_ad85c672-4c63-11e7-9c0a-f70238bdf1af.html to read more about the new NH law that went into effect on January 1, 2017 to prevent additional aquatic invasive species infestations.
Please Click on our BCPA Fact Sheet now or find it at the bottom of the Helpful Links page. Download and print it out as a handy information resource.
The following important article from the JUNE 1 EDITION OF THE SAMPLER is about the damaging effects - accelerated aging and increased phosphorus - of adding sand to shoreline beaches. Shallow ponds, such as, Bearcamp, are particularly vulnerable.
Consider This When Creating a Beach or Dumping Sand
Adapted From NHDES Fact Sheet WD-WB-18 Perching Beaches to Lessen Impacts to Lake Quality
Summer is almost here meaning beach weather is right around the corner. Lake property owners may be thinking this is the perfect year to build that long-awaited beach or replenish a pre-existing beach with sand. If so, there are some things you should carefully consider before digging in. In accordance with state regulations (RSA 482-A), a permit from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) Wetlands Bureau is required for construction of a beach because it impacts areas within the banks of a surface water body. Beaches permitted by NHDES must also comply with the Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act (RSA 483-B). RSA 483-B requires, among other things, that a vegetated waterfront buffer be left intact in order to preserve the integrity of the shoreline and protect water quality. Other local and federal regulations also may apply to beach construction.
What Are The Impacts of Sand on Lake Quality?
Lakes act as settling basins for their watersheds, collecting and accumulating materials that move downslope and drain into them. This process, which results in the gradual filling-in of lakes over thousands of years, is known as "lake aging." Lake aging is a natural succession from lake to marsh, to meadow, and eventually to dry upland. The processes that cause lake aging cannot be stopped or reversed but they can certainly be accelerated. Periodically adding sand to a lake, or lakeshore, where it will erode into the water, greatly accelerates lake aging. It’s difficult to imagine how adding just 1 cubic yard of sand to a beach each year could damage a lake until one considers that in 10 years this equals an entire dump truck load of sand, and if you stop consider the other property owners that might be doing this, the numbers add up quickly!
The physical process of accelerating lake aging has major biological impacts. A shallower lake has a reduced volume of water to dilute and process incoming contaminants, such as phosphorus, which easily attaches itself to sand particles. Increases in phosphorous, combined with a shallower lake bed, often result in accelerated growth of aquatic vegetation and algae. This rapid growth, in turn, can cause water oxygen levels to decrease, which can suffocate aquatic animals, most visibly, fish. In addition, as a lake becomes shallower, more of the lake bed is exposed to sunlight, resulting in increased water temperatures. Dumping sand along the shore of a lake can also smother benthic (bottom dwelling) algae, invertebrates and other critical habitats, causing a disruption in the food chain of higher organisms that depend on them, including fish. Also, rather than sandy bottoms, many fish species rely on stony bed habitats for nesting and spawning purposes.
The mineral composition of sand is not consistent. Although clean, washed beach sand is primarily quartz, which is relatively inert, sand can contain other materials. In New Hampshire, iron is a common component of sand and gravel. Iron-rich sand will frequently result in the presence of iron bacteria. Although iron bacteria do not pose a health hazard, they do cause aesthetic problems by creating rust-colored slime deposits and oil-like films on the sand as they oxidize the iron. Sand may also contain contaminants other than iron, all of which have the potential to wash out of the sand and into the water. Clay is a material that, if present in the deposited sand, can cause turbidity problems (reduced water clarity). Nutrients such as phosphorus, which readily attaches to sand particles, can contribute to increased macrophyte, algae and cyanobacteria growth in the water column.
Beach Location, Size and Configuration
A beach should be placed in a location on the lake frontage that poses the least environmental impact. When selecting an appropriate location, look for an area that requires the least amount of tree, vegetation, rock and soil removal. Ideally, you should choose an area where the slope of the land is naturally more flat. Shoreland Protection rules prohibit the construction of beaches in or on slopes steeper than 25%. The slope is calculated by dividing the total increase in the height of the land from the lowest point of the project to the highest point of the project. This is measured from the lakeward most edge of the project to the landward most edge of the project, and then multiplied by 100. Beach construction in wetland areas such as emergent, marshy shorelines is prohibited.
Be certain to locate an area of the shoreline where the adjacent lakebed is not mucky and has little aquatic weed growth. In addition to being an area for which a permit may be granted, it will provide better conditions for swimming and less disturbance to the lake habitat and water quality.
Dredging the lake-bottom and placement of sand in the water for beach construction for private residential use is not permitted. These are environmentally damaging activities and are activities that are only permitted for public facilities in rare and extenuating circumstances. Additionally, the beach and associated construction activities must be located at least 20 feet from property boundaries unless written permission is obtained from the affected abutter(s).
Current NHDES policy requires that all new beaches must be constructed in a "perched" position on the waterfront. A "perched beach" must have little or no slope and must be located entirely out of the water, above and landward of the existing undisturbed natural shoreline. Narrow, typically 4 ft. wide access steps to the water may be incorporated into the design. If steps are constructed, they must either be wooden removable steps over the bank or stone steps that are cut in and are completely recessed into the shoreline. All sand must be placed on the flat beach surface above the high water mark and out of the water. The construction of a beach in a perched position helps prevent the erosion of sand into the water and decreases the rate of lake aging. Perched beaches also require less maintenance, which is a direct benefit to the land owner.
Replenishment of beach sand may be allowed once every six years, if needed. In general, it may not exceed more than 10 cubic yards. Applications for beach replenishment should incorporate methods for diversion of surface runoff around the beach area. This is required if requests for beach replenishment are too frequent or the migration of sand has resulted in the need to maintenance dredge adjacent areas.
Latest edition (September 29, 2017) of The Sampler - a monthly e-newsletter produced by the Volunteer Lake Assessment Program. Click on the link to view: http://archive.mailermailer.com/view/160985231g-d952a730%2a1252371d-4c593639
BEARCAMP loon PAIR 2017
The loon nest, which was launched on April 29 has been pulled ashore and covered for the winter. The loons did not nest this year; we're hoping that we'll have a chick or two next season. The loons departed early this year, leaving shortly after Labor Day.