State of the Beach/State Reports/ME/Water Quality
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- 1 Water Quality Monitoring Program
- 1.1 Water Quality Challenges and Improvements
- 1.2 Monitoring
- 1.3 Closings and Advisories
- 1.4 Other Monitoring Programs
- 2 Water Quality Contact
- 3 Beach Closures
- 4 Storm Drains and Sewage Outfalls
- 5 Water Quality Contact (Runoff and Outfalls)
- 6 Perception of Causes
- 7 Public Education
- 8 General Reference Documents and Websites
Water Quality Monitoring Program
The Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act (BEACH Act) signed into law on October 10, 2000, amends the federal Clean Water Act (CWA), incorporating provisions intended to reduce the risk of illness to users of the Nation's recreational waters. The BEACH Act authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to award program development and implementation grants to eligible States, Territories, Tribes, and local governments to support microbiological testing and monitoring of coastal recreation waters, including the Great Lakes, that are adjacent to beaches or similar points of access used by the public. BEACH Act grants also provide support for development and implementation of programs to notify the public of the potential exposure to disease-causing microorganisms in coastal recreation waters. EPA encourages coastal States and Territories to apply for BEACH Act Grants for Program Implementation (referred to as Implementation Grants) to implement effective and comprehensive coastal recreation water monitoring and public notification programs. CWA section 406(i) authorizes appropriations of up to $30 million per year to develop and implement beach programs. Unfortunately, only about one-third that amount has been authorized each year since the program's inception. In recent years, the total funding available for BEACH Act grants has been about $9.5 million. Funding beyond 2012 has been in jeopardy, since EPA's budget requests for this program in FY2013 and FY2014 were ZERO (money for testing in 2013 and 2014 was ultimately allocated as part of Continuing Resolutions to resolve the Federal Budget impasse) and there was also no money for beach testing in the FY2015 budget. Again, it was restored at the last minute as part of a Continuing Resolution. It is very discouraging to have to fight for this basic funding to protect the public's health at the beach every year. Thankfully, there is a growing movement to provide stable funding. Unfortunately, in 2017 the situation is even more dire. If available, funds are allocated to the states and territories based on a formula which uses three factors that are readily available and verifiable: (1) Length of beach season, (2) miles of beach and (3) number of people that use the beaches. Maine was eligible for a $242,000 grant in fiscal year 2016.
Portions of the following discussion were taken from NRDC's report Testing the Waters, June 2014. NRDC's report evaluates beach monitoring data relative to EPA's recommended Beach Action Value (BAV). The BAV is a more protective threshold than the national allowable bacteria levels used in previous years to trigger beach advisories. The EPA considers the BAV to be a "conservative, precautionary tool for making beach notification decisions."
NRDC ranked Maine 27th in Beachwater Quality (out of 30 states). 19% of samples exceeded EPA's new BAV standards for designated beach areas in 2013.
There are more than 30 miles of public-access beaches stretching along Maine's Atlantic waters, including bays, sounds, and estuaries. The coastal beachwater quality monitoring program, Maine Healthy Beaches (MHB), is managed by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and coordinated by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Beachgoers can learn about beach advisories on the Maine Healthy Beaches website.
Water Quality Challenges and Improvements
The Maine Healthy Beaches program provided extensive support in 2012 and 2013 to areas that have experienced chronic bacterial pollution, including intensified monitoring and the building of a collaborative process of local, state, and federal partners to share resources and solve problems.
Improved Monitoring and Public Outreach in Camden
In 2012, the town of Camden received funding from the Maine Coastal Program to enhance its monitoring program, to expand Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Studies in the harbor watershed, and to follow through on key recommendations from prior studies. The increased monitoring led to the discovery of an illicit sewer cross-connection to a storm drain that empties to the Megunticook River. It was repaired within one week of discovery.
Additionally, to reduce the impact of untreated boat waste on harbor water quality, Camden mailed hundreds of Pump It, Don't Dump It! flyers to permitted slip and mooring holders explaining how to properly dispose of sewage. The town's free boat pump-out service increased the number of gallons pumped and the number of pump-outs in 2012 from the previous year. The town plans to continue educating boaters and expanding public outreach efforts to include best practices for managing pet waste, septic system maintenance, and storm drain stenciling in the Camden Harbor Watershed.
Water Quality Improvements at Goodies Beach
To improve historically impaired water quality, MHB supported routine beach monitoring as well as source-tracking studies at Goodies Beach in Rockport Harbor and in the storm drainage network. In 2012, Rockport Codes Enforcement surveyed 54 residences in the direct drainage basin of Goodies Beach. The town plans to explore the feasibility of extending the stormwater pipe draining to Goodies Beach offshore. Extending the outfall does not eliminate the source of pollution, however. Additionally, Rockport integrated "Pump It, Don't Dump It!" information into the promotion of a new boat pump-out facility in 2013.
The Maine Healthy Beaches program routinely cooperates with a number of agencies. Beach location data developed through the Maine Healthy Beaches program are available through the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Bacteria and environmental data collected through the Healthy Beaches initiative is shared with several departments within the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, including Maine’s Statewide Bacteria TMDL. The Maine Department of Marine Resources and the Maine Healthy Beaches program frequently share shoreline monitoring data and sanitary survey results. Other data users include Surfrider Foundation and various watershed associations. The data are also used to determine what areas need special studies and sanitary surveys. The data have been used by the Maine Geological Survey in conjunction with Acoustic Doppler Profiling to determine the fate and transport of contaminants in priority areas.
Intensive Testing at York Beaches
The town of York has hired Dr. Stephen Jones, an environmental microbiologist from the University of New Hampshire, to test the levels of bacteria in the water at York's four beaches: Cape Neddick Beach, Long and Short Sands beaches, and Harbor Beach. Voters approved $63,000 for the project in May 2014. It was initiated by the Cape Neddick River Association, who are interested in finding, and cleaning up, the sources of high bacteria counts found at Cape Neddick Beach and in the Cape Neddick River. Jones and post-doctoral researcher Erin Urquhart will conduct tests five days a week, and on some weekends, for three months to create a beach model to predict bacteria spikes. Jones expects to run 1,500 tests this summer on the water samples taken. The resulting model will be used to alert swimmers, via the town's website, when it is unsafe to go swimming. More info.
The monitoring season in Maine lasts approximately three months, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Monitoring is extended to include spring wet-weather monitoring and special studies for targeted areas.
The Maine Healthy Beaches program is voluntary, and in order to participate, a beach must have a management entity that can meet the program's protocols and conditions. Beaches that do not meet the criteria for program participation are assigned to Tier 3 and are not monitored. Monitoring coastal water quality for swimming and other water-contact usage is the responsibility of local jurisdictions, municipalities, or state parks and is not mandated by state law. Samples are taken in 2 to 3 feet of water.
Monitoring sites at each beach are selected according to where people swim as well as the location of freshwater inputs to the beach and other high-risk features, including sewage treatment plant outfalls and wildlife areas. Once a beach is placed under advisory or closed, MHB recommends that the monitoring frequency increase until standards are met and the beach can be reopened. However, some localities don't have the ability to conduct increased monitoring, and the beaches in these towns cannot be reopened until the next routine sample is analyzed.
For areas experiencing chronic bacterial pollution, additional monitoring sites are added throughout the watershed and/or wet-weather monitoring is conducted to help determine the source(s) of pollution.
Closings and Advisories
Standards and Procedures
Both closings and advisories can be issued in Maine, but closings are rare and occur only when beaches experience chronic high bacteria levels or known threats to safety or public health, and in municipalities where closing ordinances are in place. The Maine Healthy Beaches website provides beach status and data.
When determining whether to recommend a beach advisory, MHB applies a single-sample standard for enterococcus of 104 mpn/100 ml. A geometric mean standard is considered but not strictly applied when determining whether a beachwater sample exceeds bacterial standards. Results of all monitoring samples are transmitted to the MHB database, and automatic email alerts are issued to beach managers, local officials, and other entities as soon as an exceedance is found.
Advisories are not issued solely on the basis of monitoring results. The decision to post a beach is made by the local beach manager (in partnership with MHB staff) using a risk management matrix incorporating factors including bacteria levels, environmental conditions, risk of pollution, and history of high bacteria levels. Depending on the conditions, MHB will recommend an advisory when the standards are exceeded, and the decision to post an advisory for a beach is the responsibility of the town or state park. In areas with historically good water quality and a low risk of pollution, an advisory may not be posted until resample results are available, while in areas with historically poor water quality and a high risk of pollution, beaches will be posted following an exeedance. Beaches are resampled following an exceedance. MHB staff follow up after each exceedance to ensure that state protocols were followed correctly and in a timely manner.
The program recommends that precautionary rainfall advisories be posted at beaches with a history of elevated bacteria levels and stormwater issues. There are a few communities in Maine that, depending on conditions, may post an advisory after a specified amount of rainfall. Local officials are notified when there is a known sewage spill.
Other Monitoring Programs
The Cape Neddick River Association is writing a warrant article for the May 17, 2014 ballot to promote funding for a $63,000 proposal to hire an expert to daily test bacteria levels at Cape Neddick Beach, Long Sands Beach and Short Sands Beach, all of which have previously exhibited high bacteria counts. The York Board of Selectmen unanimously approved the funding earlier in 2014. Should the article pass, Dr. Stephen Jones of the University of New Hampshire would do testing for several months on the three beaches. Through previous testing, the association already knows bacteria counts are higher after times of heavy rain. A Cape Neddick River Watershed Management Plan has shown bacterial pollution sources coming from pet waste, wild animal and bird waste, and leaky septic systems.
The Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) is the administrator of the National Shellfish Sanitation Program in Maine. The Maine DMR and volunteers perform routine monitoring of fecal coliform bacteria at shellfish areas.
In Maine, several programs include toxics monitoring for adverse impacts in the marine environment: the Marine Environmental Monitoring Program (which includes the monitoring activities of the Surface Water Ambient Toxics Program), the Dioxin Monitoring Program, Casco Bay Estuary Project, and Gulfwatch (sponsored by the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment). These programs monitor for the presence of toxins in the environment (water, sediment, and/or air) and in animals (tissues, blood, feathers), since some contaminants can be accumulated in animals to higher levels than the environmental concentrations.
Maine considers its monitoring program for harmful algal blooms (commonly referred to as "red tides") to be one of the most rigorous and effective biotoxin monitoring programs in the world. An observer network of volunteers monitors for algae cells in the water column as an early warning indication system. Also, the Marine Biotoxin Monitoring Program collects data and makes closure decisions. This program is for sites affecting marine resources and in particular shellfish, and the Department of Marine Resources maintains a database for both the voluntary and the regulatory programs. Beach advisories in Maine are not issued based on harmful algal bloom data.
The 2009 red tide caused a near-complete closure of shellfish harvesting in the state of Maine in early July. Atlantic coastal waters of New Hampshire and much of the north coast of Massachusetts were also closed to harvesting. Bangor Daily News published Preventing red tide poisoning in response to this incident. In November 2008 the red tide conditions that had closed local shellfishing beds in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts between April and July 2008 were declared an official disaster by the U.S. Department of Commerce, opening the way for local shellfishermen to receive federal financial assistance. The historic red tide season of 2005 resulted in $23 million in lost shellfish sales in Massachusetts and Maine alone.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Water Quality Website provides some information on coastal water quality.
The Maine Chapter of Surfrider Foundation has installed pet waste disposal stations at numerous southern Maine beaches and has developed a monitoring site at a public beach with a volunteer based regional lab in southern Maine.
Some local groups have developed 'state of the environment' reports for areas within the Gulf of Maine — including the Casco Bay Estuary Program, New Hampshire Estuary Project (NHEP) and the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. The NHEP, part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Estuary Program, has produced the State of the Estuaries 2003 report. The report details 12 environmental indicators tracked by NHEP, such as bacteria levels, nitrogen concentrations, abundance of shellfish and land use in the coastal watershed. The report includes management goals, explanations of supporting data and ongoing efforts to achieve management goals.
National Ocean Service/National Center for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) has carried out many water quality research projects in Maine.
Water Quality Contact
University of Maine Cooperative Extension
377 Manktown Road
Waldoboro, ME 04572
Through the Healthy Beach Program, the state has developed a unified coastal water quality monitoring program at coastal beaches. The protocol includes a monitoring and notification process that will provide comparable data resulting in a cohesive program to ensure the public safety at the coastal beaches.
Maine uses a Risk Assessment Matrix to determine the potential human health risk in each case, considering water test results, location, environmental impacts from nearby waste disposal, storm water runoff, public restroom facilities, the presence of dogs or wildlife on the beach, beach usage statistics and a history of previous closings or contamination.
In 2013, Maine reported 71 coastal beaches, 55 of which were monitored. Of all reported beach monitoring samples, 19% exceeded the Beach Action Value (BAV) of 60 enterococcus bacteria colony forming units (cfu) per 100 ml marine or estuarine water in a single sample. NRDC considers all reported samples individually (without averaging) when calculating the percent exceedance rates in this analysis. This includes duplicate samples and reported samples taken outside the official beach season, if any.
The beaches with the highest percent exceedance rates of the BAV in 2013 were Wells Harbor Beach in York County (57%), Laite Beach in Knox County (44%), Goodies Beach in Knox County (43%), Cape Neddick Beach in York County (42%), and Gooch's Beach in York County (38%).
For a bar chart showing a 5-year water quality trend, see NRDC's report.
In June 2013, U.S. EPA released its latest data about beach closings and advisories for the 2012 swimming season. Note that for some states the data is incomplete, making state-to-state or year-to-year comparisons difficult. Here's EPA's BEACH Report for Maine's 2012 Swimming Season. EPA no longer publishes this report.
The Maine Chapter of Surfrider Foundation has created an Ocean Sickness Database where surfers can log data if they suspect they have fallen sick due to surfing in the ocean off the coast of Maine. Individual privacy information will be protected, but this should help us eventually get a feel for the risk involved to humans recreating in water with high bacteria counts, surfers in this case being the ‘indicator species‘. If you suspect you have fallen ill due to surfing in the ocean off the coast of Maine, please visit Maine Ocean Illness Database.
The EPA has information on water quality in Maine including a nice fact sheet, which states that Maine's water quality has significantly improved since enactment of the Clean Water Act in 1972. Atlantic salmon and other fish now return to Maine's rivers, and waters that were once open sewers are now clean enough to swim in. 99% of the state's estuarine waters have good water quality that fully supports aquatic life uses. Bacteria from municipal treatment plants, combined sewer overflows, and small discharges contaminate shellfish beds in estuarine waters. http://www.epa.gov/ow/states/ME/
The United States Geological Survey maintains a website, Maine Water Science Center. This site is a valuable source of information including current projects, online reports, publications, and maps, real-time water conditions and educational outreach material for teachers and students.
Another water quality information source is the website of Maine Sea Grant.
Storm Drains and Sewage Outfalls
Information on the location or number of storm drains or sewer outfalls in Maine was not readily available.
In June 2014 Northeast Ocean Data announced the release of easy-to-use interactive maps of water quality data for the northeastern states from New York to Maine. Based on data provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the maps display No Discharge Zones, impaired waters, and wastewater discharges. Also shown on the maps are boundaries of watersheds and subwatersheds in the region. To view the water quality maps, go here.
Combined Sewer Overflows
Municipalities are required to license their Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP) and United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). License requirements direct municipalities to evaluate their CSO problems and determine cost effective solutions to abate them. The MDEP maintains a database of the number of CSOs and works with the Municipalities to eliminate them. Information contained in Maine's 2008 Integrated Water Quality Report indicated:
Thirty-seven Maine communities [193 CSO discharge points] are served by combined sewer systems, which convey a combination of sanitary and storm water flows to wastewater treatment facilities. During dry weather, all of the sewage in a combined system is conveyed to the treatment plant for adequate treatment. However, during rainstorms or snow-melt periods, stormwater mixes with the sanitary sewage, causing flows that exceed the capacity of the sewer system. This results in combined sewer overflows (CSOs), which vary extensively in pollutant types, concentrations and loads, as well as in volume of overflow and severity of impact to the receiving waterbodies. Maine has established an aggressive program, coordinated with EPA's CSO program, to assist communities in evaluating the design, condition, activity, and effects of combined sewer systems and overflows.
The 2011 CSO Status Report stated that there are now 32 CSO Communities and CSO discharges in 2011 totaled 1.14 billion gallons from 576 overflow event days.
Further information on Maine's Combined Sewer Overflow Program.
In April 2013 the New England Center for Investigative Reporting (NECIR) published the results of the first comprehensive look at where, how often and how much sewage from combined sewer overflows (CSOs) flows into New England waterways. NECIR's research indicated that in 2011, approximately 1.1 billion gallons of sewage water spilled through 57 pipes throughout Maine. The NECIR investigation determined more than 7 billion gallons spewed into waterways across New England, the first such compilation of an annual total. More info.
An article in the Bangor Daily News on June 18, 2008 noted that:
There are hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of water and sewer projects that have been identified as needed in Maine, but the state and federal resources available to help municipalities build them is a fraction of that. The Department of Environmental Protection, for example, has identified 88 sewer projects in Maine cities and towns totaling more than $293 million that should be completed over the next five years.
Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe said Congress has been negligent in providing adequate funds for water and sewer projects. Snowe said that since 2003, Congress has reduced funding for water and sewer programs by more than $600 million when it should have been increasing it.
Gov. John Baldacci noted that a $3.4 million bond issue on the November ballot would bring in $17 million from the federal government for such projects, but he said that is far short of the need. He said Congress should increase both grants and loan programs.
"What we have in this bond doesn’t even scratch the need," Baldacci said. "Over the last 10 years or so we have seen less aid from the federal government and a reluctance on the part of towns to raise taxes or fees to pay for needed investments."
An editorial in the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on October 22, 2007 urged the city of Portland to move ahead on a $60 million, six-year program to eliminate the estimated 27 combined sewer overflows that can discharge untreated human and industrial waste into the harbor during periods of heavy rainfall.
The state also maintains a geo-referenced database of licensed overboard discharges (OBD), wastewater outfalls, and wastewater facilities. As of 2004 there were approximately 1,640 OBDs on the coast of Maine. More information on Maine's OBD program.
Maine's stormwater program works toward protecting and restoring surface and groundwater impacted by stormwater flows. Stormwater runoff from developed areas in watersheds carries pollutants, and affects the rates and volumes of flows in natural waterbodies in ways that can cause damage. Everyone has a role in reducing impacts from stormwater runoff, from the large developer constructing a new parking lot, to the homeowner using good erosion control methods and handling chemicals carefully around the house.
The existing Maine Stormwater Program includes the regulation of stormwater under two core laws: The Site Location of Development law (Site Law) and Stormwater Management Law. Aspects of stormwater are also addressed under industry specific laws such as the borrow pit and solid waste laws, and the rules administered by the Land Use Regulation Commission.
DEP was delegated authority for the federal NPDES program in 2001, based upon DEP's authority under Maine's waste discharge laws and water classification laws. DEP is in the process of developing general permits. More information.
New federal requirements for regulating stormwater went into effect on March 10, 2003. Known as Stormwater Phase II under the NPDES permit program, the requirements affect new development that disturbs between 1 and 5 acres of land ("small construction activities"), and urban areas within 28 municipalities in Maine that are designated under federal regulations as having regulated small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s). Phase I, which was previously implemented by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), regulated new development that disturbed 5 or more acres of land ("stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity"), and medium and large MS4s. Maine did not have any communities large enough to be considered medium or large MS4s.
Maine has been delegated by EPA to administer the NPDES program, and Maine DEP is developing general permits to apply to construction activities disturbing one or more acres of land (both large and small construction activities) and to the regulated small MS4s. In the future, Maine DEP will also develop a general permit to replace the federal Multisector General Permit.
A recent development regarding sewer discharges occurred at Kennebunkport. The town currently permits direct discharge of sewage during winter months, only treating the sewage in the summer months. Numerous surfers and fisherman have complained of ear, nose and throat infections during the winter months. The Maine Surfrider Chapter has brought the issue to the attention of Kennebunkport and the Maine DEP through a formal letter. Year-round treatment was preliminarily approved by a majority vote of the Kennebunkport Board of Selectmen. Surfrider provided testimony on the issue at the meeting. The existing wastewater facility will need to be expanded to deal with the additional treatment. The efforts of Surfrider's Northern New England Chapter in this matter prompted the following email from a local citizen:
"I would like to applaud the Northern New England Surfriders [now called the Maine Chapter] recent efforts in helping us prevent Kennebunkport, Maine's sewer department from dumping up to 250,000 gallons of raw untreated sewage (daily) into the river that flows right on to our surf break! This Surfrider group gets things done; they contacted Maine's Department of Environmental Protection who in turn ordered Kennebunkport to fix this problem or face serious fines and penalties. These actions evoked this appalling response from one environmentally unconscious selectman "I would say to the surfers, go find another beach". Surfrider has also showed a presence at recent public hearings involving an attempt to regulate surfing here. An amazing effort and a real inspiration to join the Surfriders!"
Despite the above victory, as of October 2007, 11 communities statewide still had a "301 (h) waiver" allowing them to discharge primary treated wastewater into rivers or the ocean. The federal Clean Water Act (written in 1972) required all wastewater treatment facilities to upgrade to secondary treatment by the late 1980s. An example is the town of Bucksport, whose wastewater treatment plant discharges into the Penobscot River. Their request for another waiver was turned down by the federal EPA, but the town's attorney was reportedly planning to argue the case with EPA.
No Discharge Areas
In July 2006 Casco Bay (contiguous waters north and east of Cape Elizabeth Light in Cape Elizabeth, to a point at Bald Point in Pittsburgh) was designated a No Discharge Area where discharges of sewage (even treated sewage) from boats is no longer allowed. Maine's Governor John Baldacci anticipates that other coastal areas in the state will be so designated in the near future.
In fact, the waters around Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Wells were designated as a no-discharge area in August 2009. Maine now has four no-discharge areas. Of these, the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Wells zone is the southernmost. Information regarding No Discharge Areas (NDA) in Maine and elsewhere in New England can also be found on EPA's Website.
Water Quality Contact (Runoff and Outfalls)
Division of Engineering and Technical Assistance
17 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0017
Phone: (207) 287-7808
Department of Environmental Protection
Phone: (207) 287-5404
Department of Environmental Protection
State House #17
Augusta, ME 04333
Perception of Causes
Land-use practices impact water resources, especially during and following rainfall conditions. Rainwater washes the land and carries pollutants (e.g. malfunctioning septic systems, pet waste) from lawns and roadways as direct runoff to the surf zone or via rivers, streams, storm drains, etc.
According to Maine's 2008 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report, 94.35 percent of the marine waters assessed were "Category 2", which is "Attains some of the designated uses; no use is threatened; and insufficient data or no data and information is available to determine if the remaining uses are attained or threatened (with presumption that all uses are attained)." Most of the remaining assessed marine waters (5.50 percent of marine waters) were "Category 5", which is "Waters impaired or threatened for one or more designated uses by a pollutant(s), and a TMDL report is required." The identified "cause/stressor type" for most (95 percent) of the Category 5 marine waters was PCBs and dioxins, with bacteria causing the impairment for about 5 percent of the marine waters.
The Maine Healthy Beaches Program faces the following issues: a) lag time in receiving bacteria results; (b) inability to monitor privately owned beaches; (c) limited staff and resources for monitoring small coastal community beaches and freshwater beaches; (d) limited number of laboratories capable of analyzing water samples; (e) ability to collect, transport and analyze samples within the 6 hr. holding time; (f) lack of effective models that can accurately predict pollution events in such a highly dynamic environment.
Maine Healthy Beaches conducts outreach to inform the public about actions it can take to protect beachwater quality. Maine Healthy Beaches participates in the meetings of other agencies and local groups as requested to coordinate and encourage pollution prevention activities that improve beachwater quality. Brochures such as A Guide to Safer Swimming in Maine and Healthy Boating Equals Healthy Beaches are also distributed to the public. In addition, the Maine Healthy Beaches Website has a Pet Waste and Water Quality brochure and other educational information.
The Maine Healthy Beaches Program developed a Municipal Guide to Clean Water: Conducting Sanitary Surveys to Improve Coastal Water Quality. This resource is meant to assist communities and resource managers in finding, fixing and preventing sources of bacterial pollution and was reviewed by over 30 professionals at the local, state Freshwater input and federal level.
Maine DEP's website has links to numerous documents as part of their Nonpoint Source Pollution - Outreach section.
The Maine Coastal Program has published a free environmental children’s book The Watershed Journey of Linus Loon. The book, designed for grades 3-7, teaches students the basics of watershed ecology and nonpoint source pollution, and encourages environmental appreciation, awareness, and stewardship.
The Maine Sea Grant education program seeks to improve K-12 marine-related educational opportunities in the state, as well as continued learning programs for educators. The education program offers in-service teacher training workshops and develops curriculum materials that incorporate Maine's Learning Results. Maine Sea Grant also supports the Maine Research Internships for Teachers and Students (MERITS) summer internship program for high school students and teachers. In addition, members of Maine Sea Grant's Marine Extension Team conduct many formal and informal educational programs and have valuable connections with teachers and students throughout the state. Extension associates assist with lessons, provide field experiences, and participate in curriculum development.
Also see the Maine NEMO (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials) Program.
Maine Shore Stewards are citizen volunteers who care for the coast of Maine. Their efforts contribute important data and information to Maine's decision-makers to help solve pollution problems, restore clam flats, and encourage an ethic of caring for the coast in Maine communities. The Maine Shore Stewards Program provides ongoing technical assistance and organizational support to Maine's network of volunteers as well as information on coastal resource monitoring and protection.
Additional water quality educational resources can be found here.
General Reference Documents and Websites
EPA has compiled several NPS (Nonpoint Source) Outreach Products that are a selection of television, radio, and print products on nonpoint source pollution that have been developed by various agencies and organizations around the country. They are good examples of outreach in the mass media. Also see What You Can Do.
NOAA, in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, International City/County Management Association and Rhode Island Sea Grant, has released an interagency guide that adapts smart growth principles to the unique needs of coastal and waterfront communities. Smart Growth for Coastal and Waterfront Communities builds on existing smart growth principles to offer 10 coastal and waterfront-specific guidelines that help manage development while balancing environmental, economic, and quality of life issues.
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