The Pleasant Lake Watershed Restoration Plan
A Watershed Restoration Plan has been completed for Pleasant Lake to ensure future generations can enjoy what we do today. The concept is to understand stormwater runoff in the watershed and its impact on the lake, and to set goals and prioritize actions that will allow for future use of the lake while protecting the water quality. The project included a significant education and outreach component to engage residents and decision makers in watershed protection dialogue and activity. Funding for the project was provided by NH Department of Environmental Services but will not involve further regulatory requirements from our State government. This is a project for and by local residents, municipalities and business entities.
FB Environmental was the chosen consultant that completed Pleasant Lake’s Watershed Restoration Plan:
Additional project deliverables can be found below:
- Lake Loading Response Model (LLRM) Report
- Water Quality Goal Memo
- Shoreline Survey Memo
- Build Out Analysis
- Water Quality Analysis
- Watershed Assessment Memo
- Septic System Brochure
FB Environmental spoke at PLPA’s 2015 & 2016 Annual Meetings:
What is watershed planning?
Why do we need it for Pleasant Lake?
Who will it involve?
Where will it take place?
Will it affect my home or business?
What can I do to help?
Forrest Bell is the owner of FB Environmental Associates and has been leading successful watershed projects since 1992. He has worked collaboratively with local expert Don Kretchmer on several recent lake management projects in New Hampshire. They will provide an interesting and informative presentation highlighting the key components of a watershed management plan.
Background: The PLPA and the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission (SNHPC) won a 2014 NH DES 604b Grant to complete a Watershed Restoration Project for Pleasant Lake from 2014-2016. The project was completed in 2016.
Why Does Pleasant Lake Need a Watershed Restoration Plan?
Pleasant Lake is an Oligotrophic waterbody according to several model outputs reported in the Diagnostic Study in 2002. However, several indicators reveal that Pleasant Lake may be a borderline Oligotrophic/Mesotrophic waterbody due to elevated phosphorous in the water column, and a decline of dissolved oxygen in the hypolimnion. In addition, Pleasant Lake does not support the designated uses of Aquatic Life and Primary Contact (swimming) due to insufficient dissolved oxygen concentrations in the lake and elevated E.coli bacteria counts at the Veasey Park Beach respectively. Pleasant Lake (NHLAK700060502-09-01) and Veasey Park Beach (NHLAK700060502-09-02) both appear on the 2012, 305(b)/303(d) Assessment for failure to meet designated uses. Pleasant Lake also appears in the 2013 New Hampshire Nonpoint Source Management Plan (Appendix C) ranked 12th for those surface waters having a high watershed recover potential which underscores the need to take action now to generate a watershed restoration plan that will build upon the findings in the 2002 Diagnostic Study and the ongoing NHVLAP annual assessments of lake and watershed health.
What Changes Have Occurred in the Watershed?
Pleasant Lake is a naturally occurring lake in south-central New Hampshire, located in the towns of Deerfield and Northwood. The natural lake dimensions have been augmented by a dam at the northern end of the lake which accounts for 493 acres of Pleasant Lake that is enjoyed by lake residents, transient boaters, and visitors to the Deerfield Town Beach at Veasey Park. The 2,240 acre Pleasant Lake watershed remains rural and heavily forested with sixty-five percent of the land cover comprised of mixed forest. Water makes up twenty-one percent of the watershed and another eleven percent exists as pasture and residential development. Although this residential development covers less than 100 acres of the watershed, low intensity development exists along nearly the entire shoreline of Pleasant Lake. Development in the Pleasant Lake watershed is characterized by seasonal cottages, with larger, year round homes in second and third tier perimeters surrounding the lake. Recent trends toward conversion of these seasonal homes to large, permanent dwellings with full amenities (washing machines, dishwashers, multiple bathrooms, etc.) has led to an increase in impervious surfaces and a decrease in forest cover. Continued land use conversion in the watershed from forested to residential land cover will accelerate the rate at which Nonpoint Source Pollutants (NPS) reach Pleasant Lake. Evidence of NPS impacts have been documented in the 2002 Pleasant Lake and Watershed Diagnostic Study (NH DES) and the annual New Hampshire Volunteer Lake Assessment Program (NHVLAP) Individual Lake Reports received by the Pleasant Lake Preservation Association (PLPA). This project is to develop a comprehensive, watershed restoration plan that addresses the above needs and incorporates the nine key elements for watershed-based planning as required by the U.S. EPA.
Pleasant Lake Watershed Restoration Plan
Links to project contributors: