The Jefferson Beach Association plans to move forward with a volunteer effort to restore a private beach on Damariscotta Lake after consulting state authorities.
Representatives from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection met with members of the Jefferson Beach Association on the shore of Damariscotta Lake on Thursday, April 14, to discuss damage to the private beach from a storm last fall.
The discussion followed a meeting of the association at the Jefferson fire station on April 11 to discuss how to address erosion issues and determine a path forward for restoring the beach.
The beach association maintains the private beach just beyond the public beach at Damariscotta Lake State Park.
The association’s recreational shorefront currently has several large cracks as a result of a rainstorm on Sept. 30, 2015.
David Waddell, an engineer with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, was joined by several representatives of the DEP and the state park for the meeting with members of the Jefferson Beach Association.
The main suggestion from Waddell and other DEP staffers in attendance was to repair the beach through the redistribution of sand already on the beach.
Waddell said that with a permit-by-rule filing, the association would be able to begin repairs on their beach.
Permit-by-rule filings apply to certain activities covered under the Natural Resources Protection Act, including activities in or adjacent to wetlands and bodies of water that should not significantly affect the environment if carried out according to regulations.
For this reason, Waddell suggested doing redistribution work by hand and keeping any mechanical equipment out of the waters of the lake.
Waddell also recommended tackling the repairs one step at a time, addressing minor damage first and moving up to the larger issues of erosion.
He also recommended keeping in contact with the department as the work progresses.
“We should keep an open dialogue,” Waddell said.
Kathy Hodnett, of the Jefferson Beach Association, said the group would use the permit-by-rule to start work on erosion-prevention projects on the lake’s beach.
“We are going to do the (permit-by-rule) and get some volunteers to help redistribute the sand on the beach,” Hodnett said.
According to the DEP, the permit is valid for two years provided all standards of the application are complied with.
Work can begin 14 days after the department’s receipt of a complete permit-by-rule form if the department does not notify the applicant of any issues with the filing.
Waddell said the region’s changing weather patterns should warrant consideration as the association addresses the current damage and the potential for future erosion.
“It was probably 20 years since the last time this happened, (but it) probably won’t be 20 years until it happens again,” Waddell said.