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Maine Geological Survey

Maine Department of Agriculture:

The Animal Health & Industry, Natural & Rural Resources Division’s Agricultural Compliance Program addresses complaints concerning agricultural activities including livestock access to waterways, manure runoff, etc. Inspec- tions are required for livestock operation permits and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Inves- tigations through this program determine whether or not Best Management Practices (BMPs)22 are being used. This program also works with farmers to take corrective action and develop site-specific BMPs, and, when necessary, take enforcement action. The Nutrient Management Program works to increase public awareness of non-point source pol- lution such as nutrients and sediments. A major goal of the program is to implement BMPs to reduce nutrient loading, and to target agricultural operations contributing bacteria to water resources.

Maine Geological Survey (MGS):

Hydrographic, meteorological, circulation, and other studies can be completed to understand how pollutants affect the surrounding areas. For some areas along the coast, MGS has completed circulation studies to determine the fate and transport of bacteria leaving river mouths, storm drains, sewage treatment plant outfalls, and other point sources. Sci- entific research may provide useful information and possibly support for special studies and data analysis (e.g., University of Maine School of Marine Sciences).

Preparing for a Sanitary Survey

The initial risk assessment: how well do you know your beach or bay?

A sanitary survey begins with an initial risk assessment. A suggested format is the Maine Healthy Beaches Pro- gram Risk Assessment Matrix, located in Appendix II. Depending on the results of the initial assessment, a more thorough sanitary survey or studies of potential pollution sources, as described in Parts II and III of this guide, may be necessary. An initial risk assessment of the designated drainage area(s) beyond the immediate shoreline area will also help prioritize areas to focus the sanitary survey.

Consider all the possible ways fecal bacteria are be- ing introduced into the area, including land-based and offshore activities. The amount and quality of informa- tion gathered via maps, town records, and phone inter- views is limited. Spending time in the field studying the area will help determine the feasibility of the survey and priority areas for further investigation. Do your home- work first, stay organized, and have a plan in place before physically surveying properties.

Shoreline features, such as a river outlet or storm drain, will help determine the scope of the sanitary survey

Paul Demers


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