At the Volunteer Lake
Assessment Program’s 25th Anniversary Celebration in May, the Eastman Lakes and Streams Committee, representing Eastman Pond in Grantham, received a Volunteer Limnologist Award and the 2010 Secchi Disk Award.
Since 2004, the NH Dept. of Environmental Services has recognized at least one volunteer for dedication and commitment to volunteer lake monitoring. This award has been appropriately named the Volunteer Limnologist Award because each time a volunteer monitor collects a water sample from a lake or pond or conducts a Weed Watcher survey, the volunteer is performing the role of a true limnologist. In addition, the Secchi Disk Award is given to the overall Volunteer Limnologist award winner that truly stands on the “cutting edge” of volunteer monitoring.
ECA Board President Bob Peterson congratulated the Lakes & Streams Committee volunteers who made the award possible. “This is wonderful recognition of your conscientious work to protect our lake, and it shines a very favorable light on our community.”
Monitoring at Eastman Lake began in 1987, when Eastmanite Dave Frucht joined the VLAP and continued sampling for the next 15 years or so. He recruited a few more volunteers along the way and added stream and beach sampling as well. Dave received the Volunteer Limnologist Award in 2005.
“It’s difficult to say how many volunteers have been involved over the years, but I’d estimate it to be around 100 people,” said Jackie Underhill, who co-chairs the Lakes & Streams Committee with Ebba McArt.
“The Lakes & Streams Committee has evolved over time,” said Underhill. “What was once a committee of a few has grown into a well-organized committee of 13 at the present time. Its visibility in our community has grown steadily over the years, providing us with the ability to educate our residents on prudent stewardship of our natural amenities here in Eastman. We are fortunate to
be part of a community that supports our mission.”
At the present time, Eastman Lakes & Streams Committee has approximately 25 Weed Watchers, 30 Lake Hosts, 13 Water Quality Monitors and 10 Events volunteers.
Specific projects accomplished by the committee include:
> Boat wash opened in 1992
> YSI meter purchased in 2005 to monitor conductivity values, dissolved oxygen and water temperature at the Deep Spot. Also monitored the perimeter of the lake for conductivity values.
> Lake Appreciation Week established in 2006 as a yearly event to include fun activities and educational opportunities centered on the lake
> Chloride testing initiated during the spring snow melt in 2007 as recommended in the annual VLAP report.
>Weed Watchers Group organized and established in 2008
> Lake Host Program becomes a part of Lakes & Streams Committee in 2008
> Worked with the Loon Protection Committee to build and deploy a nesting raft in 2008
> Ice Out Contest and Chowda Suppa organized in 2008 to raise lake awareness and education. Has run for three years now.
> Installed wave attenuation barriers in 2008/09 at two beaches to reduce wave-induced erosion.
> Offered CMA (calcium magnesium acetate) co-op beginning in 2008 to residents as a de-icer alternative for salt
> 2009 Watershed Management Study and Plan completed. It now serves as a major focus for the 2010 Work Plan.
> Iron and manganese testing added to the usual VLAP-recommended protocol in 2009/10 to shed some light on our lake’s historically high conductivity values.
> Youth Lake Conservation Corps formed in 2010 in partnership with NH Lakes through a grant from the Eastman Charitable Foundation.