There are roughly 45,000 miles of streams and rivers in Maine. These streams and rivers serve as habitats and sources of food for many different types of organisms during part or all of their lives.
Maine is home to the last remaining populations of wild Atlantic salmon in the U.S. and those populations remain at critically low numbers. Maine is also an important habitat for Eastern brook trout populations in the U.S. and home to a unique blend of certain aquatic insect, crustacean, mollusk, and plant species. Additionally, it is home to many exciting and charismatic reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals that rely on streams for sources of water and food.
These stream and river ecosystems also provide much aesthetic beauty; they carry nutrients, and food resources to downstream waterbodies such as lakes and the ocean; they provide important economic benefits (e.g., tourism, fishing, recreation, hydropower, industrial process water, etc.) to Maine and its citizens.
The health of streams, rivers, and the organisms that live in them depends on a healthy aquatic habitat conditions. Humans, however, can disturb and degrade these conditions through land-use and water-use activities that are not done properly or carefully. Maine is no exception. While it has many beautiful miles of pristine or near-pristine waterways, a significant amount of its stream and river miles have been damaged and impacted by misuse, overuse, or mismanagement. In order to maintain or improve water quality and habitat conditions, these stream resources need to be assessed, managed, and protected. Nearby human activities must be done with care and according to the latest standards (sometimes referred to as “best management practices” or BMPs).
Volunteers play an important role in assessment and protection activities because the budgets and staffs of state, federal, academic, private, and nonprofit agencies and organizations can only go so far.
As part of KLA's efforts to improve the water quality in the lake, Kim Struck has embarked on a project of surveying the various streams that feed into Keoka Lake. Primarily looking for evidence of overbanking that can be mitigated to reduce erosion and sediment getting into the lake, she has also been picking up trash and meeting with property owners. KLA wants to collaborate on any mitigation issues. Anyone wishing to get involved should contact Kim Sruck.