Watershed Protection

Torsey Pond watershed project underway!

Last year’s application to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (Maine DEP) to mitigate and prevent erosion and runoff was successful, so now a two-year project aimed at improving and protecting the water quality of Torsey Pond is about to kick into high gear. The Torsey Pond Watershed Protection Project, Phase I is sponsored by the Cobbossee Watershed District (CWD) and is aimed at reducing nonpoint source (NPS) phosphorus pollution to the pond. The specific phases of the project are outlined below, and services will be provided at no cost or by cost sharing through the grant (the total amount of the grant depends on participation and matching funds). Please read further about how you can be involved! Assisting the CWD on the project are the Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed (FOCW) with support from, and in cooperation with, the Torsey Pond Association (TPA). This project follows the 2015 Torsey Pond Watershed Survey Project that identified numerous NPS sites that contribute pollution, particularly phosphorus, to the pond, and follows recommendations of the Torsey Pond Watershed-Based Protection Plan (2020). According to CWD’s Executive Director, Bill Monagle, the pond has maintained consistently good water quality over the past four decades, but measures should be taken to address NPS sources to provide long-term protection to Torsey Pond.

What’s available to protect Torsey Pond

Shoreline stabilization and/or buffer strip installation:

  • LakeSmart-Start! visits by FOCW to shorefront property owners, providing free consultation and recommendations for “lake friendly” landscaping practices. Any costs associated with the state permit and nonmachinery-based project labor (Youth Conservation Corps) will be covered by this grant. Property owners will be responsible for material costs. Please read the attached LakeSmartStart! program description for details and who to contact to get started.
  • Technical assistance will be available by the CWD to individual landowners, road associations and Public Works Departments of the towns of Mt. Vernon and Readfield.
  • Examples include planting native vegetation to stabilize soil on the property, including the shorefront, and to create buffers for treatment of stormwater runoff.


Upgrade and improvement of private and public roads and the addressing of other land uses that cause surface erosion and other drainage problems: 

  • The CWD will guide the implementation of corrective actions at documented NPS sites associated with approximately six roads and one private property in the watershed. Landowners, gravel/camp roads, as well as town roads, will enter into a 60% cost-share agreement. Initially, those sites that were included in the list of top candidate sites accompanying the grant proposal will be targeted for best management practices (BMP) implementation.

Outreach campaign to educate watershed residents about the value of lake protection: 

  • FOCW will work with schools to promote watershed education through its Watershed Science Program and will be offering its TadPole Patrol program — an on-the-water lake ecology educational program. Keep an eye out for announcements on date and time for this program.

A Local Watershed Steering Committee has been formed that includes representatives of the CWD, DEP, FOCW and Torsey Pond Association. The TPA representatives are Keith Coulling, Mark Dershwitz, and Carolyn Gorry. The project is partly funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. 

The Torsey Pond Watershed Survey

Torsey Pond Watershed Report.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [4.7 MB]
Torsey Pond Watershed Protection Plan.pd[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [1.4 MB]

The Torsey Pond Association (TPA), with assistance from the Cobbossee Watershed District (CWD), conducted a survey of the Torsey Pond watershed to locate sources of phosphorous and sediment, which can have a negative impact on water quality. The goal of this survey is to locate nonpoint source pollution sources in the watershed.  The information generated from the survey will provide the basis for a watershed-based plan to protect our beautiful lake.


Soil erosion is the main focus of the survey because it is a major source of phosphorous – the most serious pollutant to lakes in Maine.  Phosphorous and other pollutants reach our lakes through storm water runoff and can come from anywhere in the watershed – not just the shoreline.  Sediment is also detrimental to aquatic life habitat.


Special thanks to the TPA volunteers who compiled 28 assesments of camp roads and driveways during the spring and early summer of 2016.  

New Big Thing:

Watershed Survey:

The Torsey Pond Watershed Survey, prepared by the Cobbossee Watershed District with the TPA, is now complete. See Details.

On Line Membership and Donations:

You can now Join, Renew and Donate online on our Membership Page. TPA is a a 501(c)(3)

non-profit organization.  Your membership dues and additional donations to the TPA are Tax Deductible!

Membership Rack Card and Flyer:

We now have a printable rack card and  printable  flyer available. Make some copies and give to your neighbors! See Details

Next Big Thing:

TPA Director's Meeting

Next Virtual Zoom Meetings TBD

TPA 2024 Annual Members Meeting 

Saturday, July 6th 10:00 am

Readfiled Town Hall

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