Is water quality testing being done in any of the other bodies of water on the island?
There are no other buoys in lakes on the Island. However, the National Park Service has been monitoring all the lakes in Acadia since the 1980s. Staff from the park's water program monitor 11 lakes and 11 streams each year, visiting each site monthly from April through October. The great thing about the data from the buoy is that it "fills in the blanks" and allows us to find out what the Jordan Pond water quality is like on the 29 to 30 days/month we're NOT able to get on the lake to monitor!
Why are gas motors permitted on the lake?
There is a 10 horsepower limitation in Jordan Pond which was instituted by the Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (MDIF&W). MDIF&W has management jurisdiction of all lakes > 10 acres "Great Ponds" in the state, even those surrounded by federal land, and considers issues like horsepower limitations on a lake by lake basis. The restriction on Jordan Pond, and most of the other lakes on MDI is based on safety, water quality, ecological, and aesthetic/noise concerns, since most of the lakes/ponds on MDI are relatively small. Some of the very small ponds (Bubble, Witch Hole, etc.) have a total ban on internal combustion engines, since they'd be far too disruptive, and Long (Great) Pond has no limitation, primarily because it has such a large surface area.
Why can't I swim in Jordan Pond, but motor boats are allowed?
The swimming/water contact ban in Jordan Pond is due to the EPA waiver to the water department of (very costly) filtration requirements in water bodies that have water quality that is naturally so good. The water department instituted the "no body contact" regulation, since the managers consider (hopefully) small oil & gas contamination easier to clean up than biological contamination that can become dispersed and potentially multiply in the lake water. Visitors and recreational users should adhere to all of the mandated regulations, since they're designed to protect both human and ecological health and safety. This also applies to checking all watercraft for exotic plants every time the boats are removed from the water, to avoid transporting invasive species to Acadia.
Why is the buoy gray?
To make the buoy stand out less, we painted the buoy itself gray and the mooring balls white (seagull colors) from their original yellow and orange. We want people to know the buoy is there and to learn about the research that is taking place, but do not want to displease people by ruining their view. One way to help the project is to share what you know about the buoy with your friends and neighbors in Acadia. Ultimately, the goal of the project is to understand the ecology of the lake in order to preserve its natural beauty far into the future.
How can I get involved?
If you are interested in preserving the natural beauty of Acadia National Park, visit the Friends of Acadia website.Click Here→