2021 Annual Report
30 Mile began in 2008, largely in response to the growing threat of invasive aquatic plants. As the years passed, more and more lakes just outside our watershed became infested. At the same time, nearby lakes bloomed green with toxic algae. While neighboring watersheds dealt with these big challenges, our work continued to focus on prevention – keeping out invasives and reducing phosphorus that leads to algal blooms.
In the fall of 2020, invasive variable watermilfoil was discovered in Androscoggin Lake – the first time an invasive aquatic plant had been found in our watershed. Then in the late summer of 2021, Androscoggin also suffered a lakewide algal bloom that turned the lake pea-soup green. This crisis on Androscoggin poses a threat not only to Androscoggin, but to the whole watershed.
To tackle these problems, while rebounding from the pandemic, 2021 needed to be a year of big growth for 30 Mile. To ramp up, we added two year-round staff members, hired more boat inspectors than ever before, and created two new seasonal positions to survey for invasive milfoil.
In the pages that follow, you will see highlights of what you made possible with your incredible support. Thanks to you and our generous community of donors, volunteers and partners, 30 Mile is now stronger than ever. You have been there when we’ve needed you and our success is your success.
We now look forward to another year of enjoying time outside in this beautiful place and working hard for clean and healthy lakes.
Table of Contents
30 Mile Taking Action
- Two lakes added to water quality monitoring program in its sixth season
- Algal Bloom on Androscoggin Lake
- Responding to a crisis: Invasive Milfoil found in Androscoggin Lake
- Being “LakeSmart” in the 30 Mile River Watershed
- Boat Inspectors are the first line of defense.
- The Paddle Trek returns!
- Thank you to our 2021 Volunteers!
30 Mile has a new website!
In the fall of 2021, with input from our community, we launched our new website. We invite you to take a look around!
30 Mile Taking Action
All of our programs promote long-term sustainable change, either working directly to protect the natural environment or providing recreational and educational opportunities that foster stewardship.
Two lakes added to water quality monitoring program in its sixth season
In 2021, we expanded our water quality monitoring by 33%, adding Androscoggin Lake and Flying Pond to our program. Monitoring eight lakes and ponds on our five-month, bi-weekly schedule, May through October, we completed nearly 100 sampling events throughout the season! We worked alongside 37 volunteers who assisted us with data collection and on-lake transportation.
sampling events completed on 8 lakes and ponds
Androscoggin ▪ Basin ▪ David ▪ Flying ▪ Lovejoy ▪ Minnehonk ▪ Parker ▪ Pocasset
Algal Bloom on Androscoggin Lake
In 2021, Androscoggin Lake experienced its first lakewide algal bloom in 20 years. The bloom turned the lake green, reduced visibility, and may have been toxic to pets and humans. With localized blooms starting in August, by late September, the lake had officially reached lakewide algal bloom status, which continued through October. By December, the water clarity in the lake had improved only slightly.
As the lake was blooming, we monitored water quality more closely, collecting water quality data and water samples. In 2022, our work to address the bloom and prevent future blooms will continue. We will increase monitoring to document trends and better understand the causes of the bloom; monitor phosphorus levels; and support landowners in reducing polluted runoff. A watershed survey is planned for May 2022 to identify erosion threats to water quality.
Stay up-to-date with our algal bloom response by signing up for our monthly newsletter.
Responding to a crisis: Invasive Milfoil found in Androscoggin Lake
2021 was our first year fighting the infestation of invasive variable watermilfoil discovered on Androscoggin Lake in the fall of 2020. This is the first invasive aquatic plant infestation in the 30 Mile River Watershed and puts the entire watershed at risk. Because invasive milfoil grows and spreads rapidly, implementing aggressive, immediate control efforts is critical. Working in partnership with the lake association and Maine DEP, we made great progress throughout the season, surveying the whole lake and removing every invasive plant found until an algal bloom halted our efforts in October. We will continue the fight in 2022.
Milfoil Rapid Response Timeline
30 Mile staff began intensively surveying the infested area (4-5 days/week), marking each individual milfoil plant found. Every 2-3 weeks, DEP staff carefully removed the plants by hand.
The Maine DEP and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife ordered a temporary Surface Use Restriction in the cove, closing the infested area.
44 volunteers from Androscoggin Lake Improvement Corporation’s “Eyes on the Water” team, along with 30 Mile staff, completed a full lake invasive aquatic plant survey of all the near shore areas where aquatic plants are likely to grow. No other invasive milfoil was found.
Milfoil work was forced to end early when the algal bloom turned the lake green and plants were no longer visible.
Our fight against the milfoil will resume with a second full season of survey and removal work, working towards eradication.
Being “LakeSmart” in the 30 Mile River Watershed
LakeSmart is a statewide education and reward program that helps lakefront homeowners manage their properties in ways that protect water quality. The program is free, non-regulatory, and voluntary.
30 Mile is a regional LakeSmart “HUB” support center, helping our lake associations deliver LakeSmart education property-by-property and shore-by-shore to create a conservation ethic across the lake community.
In 2021, our LakeSmart teams completed 20 evaluations, with four of the evaluated properties receiving LakeSmart awards. We are working to expand the program in 2022, adding more lakes to the program.
If each homeowner does a little, the sum of many small actions adds up to a lot of lake protection. And being LakeSmart is the place to start!
Boat Inspectors are the first line of defense.
2021 was our biggest season ever, in response to the invasive milfoil in Androscoggin. We doubled our hours of staffing to 2,189 – conducting 2,814 inspections on four lakes and ponds. Joining our 10 paid staff, this year’s team of 11 volunteers was our largest yet, allowing us to expand our coverage an extra 244 hours.
The Paddle Trek returns!
After taking a year off due to COVID-19, the 12th Annual Paddle Trek brought together 42 paddlers of all ages for this beautiful, scenic adventure traveling through 10 picturesque and distinctly different lakes, ponds, and streams within the watershed, from Mt. Vernon Village to Wayne Village.
Thank you to our 2021 Volunteers!
Volunteers are a vital part of 30 Mile’s team, generously contributing thousands of hours to make this work possible. They fill key roles across all areas of our work, including boat inspections, water quality monitoring, LakeSmart evaluations, invasive plant surveys, watershed surveys, office support, our Board of Directors, and more.
Donor List & Fundraising Highlights
2021 was our most successful fundraising year ever thanks to you!
individual and corporate donors contributed $148,645 in 2021, exceeding our goal of $140,000
Dollars raised from individual donors more than DOUBLED in just two years.
2021 Financial Report
Photo Credit: Josh Robbins (Banner)