Willard Neighborhood Association


Beach Committee Meeting Summary – February 13th from 3-5pm


Attending:  Judy and Darrell Cooper, Ann Jewett, Lois Reckitt, Lee Terzis, Jeanie Bourke, Steve Gray, Doug Uraneck, Theresa Wiper, Paula Harris

Summary written by Theresa Wiper, February 17, 2005




Results of 2004 work:  Beach projects included the following:


            Earth Day trash cleanup

            Early May bath house painting (one coat on building sides and trim)

            Earth Day weeding at the bathhouse entrance

            The Myrtle Avenue entrance received 15 yards of sand and installed a walkway and dune fencing to delineate a path and promote dune grass growth

            Seaweed was raked from Willard Street to Myrtle Avenue and the seaweed was placed in the dunes to fertilize the grass.  This was a volunteer project done by a Portland Church.

            Seaweed and seed were placed between the Myrtle Avenue and Beach Street entrance to promote dune grass growth.  Almost 300 dune plants were planted (but most did not live).

            There was a Coastal Cleanup trash pickup effort in late September by elementary school and five adults.  Not much big trash was found, but lots of cigarette butts.


2005 Project Discussion:  The following projects were discussed for this beach season:


            Painting the bathhouse deck.  Theresa will have the city evaluate the deck and see if it needs to be replaced first.  The project date will be early to mid May.  We need warmer and drier weather to put down the oil deck stain.  A volunteer to coordinate this project is needed.


            Big fish shack shingling project.  Paul Leddy of Fore River Woodworks has volunteered to shingle the waterside of the big shack and to check the footing stabilization of all three shacks.  Paul’s company will provide materials and labor.   Jeanie Bourke to check with Paul to see if he can set a date.  Will need to coordinate the disposal of the old shingles at the city transfer facility with the Parks Department.


            Earth Day trash pick up/South Portland Dog Owner’s Group pick up. 

We are looking to coordinate a dog waste pickup with the South Portland Dog Owner’s Group in conjunction with a beach trash pick up this year.  Theresa has spoken with Glen who is the email/website person for the SPDOG and he is interested in a joint effort.

Earth Day is toward the last weekend in April.  Theresa is looking for someone to coordinate Earth Day this year at Willard Beach as she will be unable to attend.


            Dune restoration work.   More seaweed and seed will be placed in the area between Beach Street and Myrtle Avenue.  Temporary fencing may be put up to give that area a chance to grow this year.  Theresa is checking with SMCC Plant and Soil department to see if they would like to participate in a project this year.  Also, Theresa is looking to test the effectiveness of a liquid concentrated seaweed/fish fertilizer on areas of the dune that appear to need help.  Areas will be roped off and plants will be sprayed with the fertilizer twice a month after rain events.  Approval of this work from the Parks Department and the DEP will be obtained before starting.  Theresa is looking for a few volunteers to head this project also.  All materials will be provided.


            Cast Iron Pipe removal.   The sewer pump station on the north end of the beach on SMCC property should be installing a backup generator soon.  This would allow the cast iron pipe at the north end of the beach to be removed.  Will follow up with Dave Pineo in the South Portland Pollution Abatement Department as to the timing of the generator installation.  Approvals from the city, DEP, and Maine Geological Survey will also be necessary before the pipe is removed. 


            Beach Street entrance work.  We are looking to limit punt storage to the beach area north of Beach Street.  Last year, two punts were stored between Beach and Myrtle Avenue (closer to Beach Street) and were tied to a city sign stating no punts allowed.  We will look to move the sign and change the dune fencing to discourage punt storage in that area.  The dune grass in that area was dead from those punts.  The Beach Committee will work with the Police Department and Parks Department to better educate punt owners and to move punts that are put in dune areas south of the Beach Street entrance.


Possible vegetation plantings to reduce storm water runoff erosion at this entrance have been postponed until the house construction at this entrance is completed.


            Willard Street entrance work.  The Willard Street entrance experiences significant beach erosion due to storm water runoff in larger rainstorm events.  The Engineering and Pollution Abatement Departments are currently conducting a hydraulic study to determine if the drains at the end of that street could be changed to handle more water during these storms and reduce the runoff that is causing the erosion.


We will wait for the results of this study and then determine if the entrance needs to have some changes done (i.e. beach vegetation additions, possible water drainage field, dune walkover installed) to further reduce erosion from storms and promote long-term healthy dune growth at that entrance.


            Deake Street entrance steps.  Looks like the last stone step is now gone.  Will check with the Parks Department to see how to fix this.  It is a bit of a safety hazard.   



Other discussion topics:


The spring inlet pipe at the bathhouse entrance experienced some high bacteria readings last summer, which resulted in some beach swimming closures last year.  The South Portland Pollution Abatement Department is doing periodic testing of the stream up beyond the beach parking lot to try to identify the cause of the high readings. 


SMCC Marine Science Department is wrapping up its first two year’s of its beach profiling effort and the information has been graphed.  We are looking to graph the prior two years of profiling that was done by Beach Committee volunteers and then submit it to the Maine Geological Survey for evaluation.  A presentation to the neighborhood association and the city council will follow.  We hope to do this by the end of the summer.  Lee Terzis has volunteered to help enter the data from the volunteers. 


Theresa will look to update the Beach Management guide this fall.  Items that may be added will include the 1941 beach taking (to establish the city park) and some learned information regarding dune management and restoration techniques.


It was suggested to ask the city to install some street signs on Preble Street that would indicate how to get to the Willard Beach Parking lot on Willow Street.  Theresa will check with Parks and the Police Department regarding this request.


We always welcome any new faces to the Beach Committee.


Meeting adjourned at a little after 4pm.


Theresa is looking to delegate the following areas of Beach Committee work:


Water Quality – Would serve as contact person for the Pollution Abatement Department and receive monthly reports on water quality and CSO activity.  Follow up with these departments regarding any issues in this area and report findings to Beach Committee.


Dune restoration work coordinator – Will help develop and lead any dune restoration projects.  May include getting necessary permission from the City and Department of Environmental Protection.  Help coordinate projects with SMCC Plant and Soil Technology Department.


Beach Profiling Coordinator – Work with SMCC to obtain reports regarding profiling and working with SMCC and the Maine Geological Survey to evaluate profiling results.  Would include periodic reporting to the Beach Committee and city officials.


Willard Beach Earth Day coordinator – Would work on project ideas and volunteer efforts for trash removal, bathhouse work, entrance weeding, etc.  Theresa would help find volunteers. 


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