FBE has conducted annual lake monitoring at the three basins of Kezar Lake and six hydrologically-connected ponds since 2008. Annual monitoring includes three sample events (June, August, and September) at the three basins of Kezar Lake and two sample events (June and August) at the six ponds. FBE staff is certified by Maine VLMP for dissolved oxygen, Secchi, and phosphorus/epilimnetic core monitoring. FBE assists Kezar Lake Watershed Association (KLWA) with quality assurance and control (QA/QC) checks of all lake monitoring data, and assures the data are properly formatted for review and inclusion in the Maine DEP database.
FBE is currently involved in a multi-year effort with KLWA and the Kezar Lake Climate Change Observatory (CCO) to identify and address climate change issues at the local level. This unique collaboration creates a powerful mechanism for addressing concerns regarding climate change at Kezar Lake. From 2013-14, FBE facilitated discussions with key stakeholders, including the University of Maine Climate Change Institute, to assist with the establishment of the CCO. The Observatory is designed to guide long-term monitoring, assessment, and climate change adaptation efforts. The CCO focuses on both scientific discovery and community natural resource values.
Beginning in 2014, FBE was hired by the CCO to jump-start a long-term monitoring program using continuous data loggers. FBE currently maintains four water level/temperature loggers and five water temperature loggers at nine locations throughout the Kezar Lake watershed. FBE staff also take annual stormflow measurements to establish a robust stage-discharge rating curve at each site. This enables us to convert water level to flow and track changes in flow over time at each of the streams (e.g., as a result of climate change or forestry practices).
FBE assists the CCO with several other important activities, including website updates (klwa.us), flyer development, raw data and file management, database creation, and annual report updates. With the help of FBE, the CCO published their first annual report in fall of 2015. The purpose of the report is to summarize CCO activities for the past year and to make recommendations based on the analysis of climate change-induced annual trends for available data. These data are presented by major ecological zone: water, atmosphere, and land.
In 2015, FBE worked with the Towns of Lovell and Kittery, ME to survey and assess their culverts for issues related to stormwater management. Ensuring that culverts are properly sized, positioned, and maintained is important for the long-term integrity and climate resilience of a watershed. Unstable culverts (e.g., undersized for incoming flow volumes, poor armoring along the inlet and outlet banks, not properly aligned with flow direction) can cause erosion of stream banks and road shoulders. This eroded material carries nutrients, which can then enter local waterbodies, fueling algal growth. In June 2015, FBE with the Town of Lovell and the Kezar Lake Watershed Association (KLWA) assessed 211 culverts within Lovell and the broader Kezar Lake Watershed. From the assessment, 15 culverts were prioritized for replacement or repair. FBE also worked with the Town of Kittery to locate and assess over 100 culverts in the town, which is largely within the Spruce Creek watershed. Common problems identified included road washout, “pinched” streams, corrosion, and perched inlets and outlets. A kmz (Google Earth) file was created to visually depict via color-coding the ranking of each assessed culvert. This provided the towns with a spatial representation of all culverts and highlighted hotspots for culvert repair and/or replacement.