July 15, 2005
Contact: John Peckenham, 581-3254
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hancock County towns taking steps to protect groundwater supplies
On July 19th at 7pm, researchers from the Senator George J. Mitchell Center at the University of Maine will present their findings on a study conducted to explore the relationships between sand and gravel mining and groundwater resources in the towns of Lamoine, Hancock, and Ellsworth.
Sand and gravel deposits are unique natural features that formed when Maine was covered by glaciers several thousand years ago. These deposits are valuable natural resources because of their ability to hold large quantities of groundwater, as well as for their use as construction materials. These are competing uses for an irreplaceable natural feature. An important concern is how to balance the economic importance of mining these deposits with the current and future need of groundwater for drinking water.
This public presentation will be at the Lamoine Consolidated School located at 53 Lamoine Beach Road on Route 184. Residents of the three communities are particularly urged to attend. The presentation will include a brief review of how the sand and gravel deposits were formed, how the study was conducted and what questions were asked. The team will also give their interpretation of the findings from the study and recommendations on how this resource could be managed into the future. There will be time for questions and answers after the presentation, as well as opportunity for informal conversation over refreshments at the conclusion.
Funds for the study have been provided by federal grants, a state grant for Wellhead Protection, and three private organizations: The Island Foundation, Maine Community Foundation, and New England Grassroots Environmental Fund. Two of these funding organizations have requested that Lamoine, Hancock, and Ellsworth consider what mutual steps they can take to provide adequate protection of their ground water.