LSPA: Snowshoe walk in Dewey Woods Feb. 15

Enjoy a winter outing, a snowshoe walk in Sunapee Town Forest. Lake Sunapee Protective Association will hold a guided walk of Sawyer Trail in Dewey Woods, Sunapee, on Friday, February 15, at 1 p.m. Cocoa and cookies will be served after the walk at the LSPA Learning Center, Main Street, Sunapee Harbor. Registration required. Call 603-763-2210 or email

Ice warnings issued for Lake Sunapee

The Lake Sunapee Protective Association and the town of Newbury, New Hampshire, are warning people about unsafe ice conditions on Lake Sunapee.

“The changing temperatures have resulted in areas of very thin ice in certain areas of Lake Sunapee,” says the alert issued by Newbury on the town website and in a public notice announcement. “The ice is very thin in the area between Bay Point and The Fells and those using the lake for winter activities should keep away from this area as well as being cautious in other areas of the lake.”

The lake association released an ice warning on February 6. LSPA Executive Director June Fichter wrote:

“We have reports that the lake ice is very thin, therefore unsafe, in the northern section of Lake Sunapee, between Tilson Point and Herrick Cove. We also have reports of thin ice between Bay Point and the Fells, south of Minute Island.”

A nor’easter, expected to hit the region Friday into Saturday, will likely cover the lake with a fresh blanket of snow, which will hide and insulate thin ice below.

Although Lake Sunapee may look safe, these ice warning suggest otherwise. Caution advised.

Sunapee School District: On the bulletin board

Dinner and a Movie

The junior class is holding a fundraiser — Family Night: Dinner and a Movie at the Sherburne Gym — on Saturday, March 24, 2012, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. “Puss in Boots” will be shown on the big screen with dinner served during intermission. Tickets: $5 per person/maximum $20 per family. The doors open at 4:30 p.m.  Proceeds will benefit the middle high school prom in May.

Download/view the poster: Dinner and a Movie – “Puss in Boots” (188kb PDF).

SCES students and Seniors

On Monday, March 12, 2012, the kindergarten and first grade classrooms from the Sunapee Central Elementary School met with the Sunapee Seniors at the Methodist church. The children sang St. Patrick’s Day songs and handed out holiday crafts, and the seniors provided juice and cookies.  Kindergarten teacher Jackie Keegan said, “A great time was had by all.”

Raising brook trout

Katie Blewitt’s fourth grade classroom and Keegan’s kindergarten are working together and raising brook trout.  With guidance from Lake Sunapee Protective Association and N.H. Fish and Game, the students have 220 eggs chilling in the classroom.

The Chess Club

On Thursday, March 15 and March 22, the Sunapee Chess Club led by volunteer Eugene Tappen will be meeting with the New London Elementary School Chess Club at the New London Outing Club.  This is the third year the children have joined together. The Chess Club is for third, fourth and fifth graders interested in learning the game and for those wanting to increase their competitive skills.

Lake Sunapee hosts international meeting of lake ecologists

Telephoto view from east shore of Lake Sunapee

Image via Wikipedia

GLEON = Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network, a grassroots group of limnologists, ecologists, information technology experts, and engineers who are building a network of lake observatories.

On October 10 – 14, 2011, more than a hundred scientists from twenty-four countries will meet at Lake Sunapee to discuss freshwater lakes and reservoirs, including what can be done to keep them healthy in the face of population growth and competing demands. The meeting is being organized by GLEON.

GLEON is working across disciplines and continents to advance a better understanding of how these ecosystems function, so we can preserve and protect them now and for future generations.” says Dr. Kathleen C. Weathers, a  scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York.

Lake Sunapee is home to one of the thirty monitoring buoys that are at the heart of the GLEON network. Others are deployed across the globe, including sites in Sweden, France, Ireland, Estonia, Canada, Taiwan, China, Brazil, Israel, and Australia.

These high-tech instruments record and send data, 24/7, about lake and reservoir conditions, such as temperature and oxygen levels. This information helps scientists and managers understand and respond to variables such as flooding, development, and introduced species.

“From pollution and development to managing fisheries–society puts a lot of pressure on freshwaters. Yet we depend on lakes and reservoirs for drinking water, recreation, and other services,” says Weathers, who is a co-chair of GLEON.

“GLEON consists of some 300 scientists and citizens who interpret, analyze, and compare data generated by a global network of buoys. Our goal is to understand challenges in lake and reservoir management, particularly maintaining water quality in the face of accelerating development.”

The 13th GLEON conference is being hosted by the Lake Sunapee Protective Association (LSPA) and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Prior GLEON meetings have been held in Israel, Brazil, and China.

Portions of the conference are open to the public.

On Wednesday, October 12 at 7 p.m., Dr. Justin Brookes of the University of Adelaide will address the global water crisis. Following his lecture, a panel of international scientists will review critical water quality issues, what scientists are doing, and how citizens can become involved. The program will be held at Mt. Sunapee Resort, Goosefeathers Lodge, Newbury.

Lake level is high with spring rains and snow melts

The local lake association is alerting Lake Sunapee property owners about making sure items are stored well above the water level along their shore and in their boat and shore front structures.

The lake level is now around 11.0′ on the Sunapee Harbor gauge. This is “at the high end” of the operating range (8.0′ to 11.0′) defined by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, according to June Fichter, the executive director of the Lake Sunapee Protective Association.

“A great amount of water is now flowing through the dam,” said Fichter. “There is little that can be done when soils are saturated, snow and ice is melting and rains continue. Likewise, at times of low water level, by law, NH-DES must allow a certain flow through the dam to maintain minimum flows in the river.”

Looking at long-term averages for this time of year, with average precipitation, melt and saturation conditions, the Sunapee lake level is generally  10.2’ to 10.4’ on the harbor gauge. This is 7 to 9.5 inches lower than present level. Higher levels than the present have also been seen.

“The control of flow or allowable flow through the dam is more complicated than lake level alone.  There are minimum flows established for the Sugar River, based primarily on required volumes needed for assimilation of sewage treatment plant releases, and there are maximum levels based on potential flood damage downstream,” added Fichter.

A measurement of 10.5′ on the gauge, which corresponds to an elevation of 1,093.15′ above sea level, is considered the “full lake” or the desired lake level from June 1 though summer.

View or download the chart (197kb PDF) by clicking on: Sunapee Precipitation vs Lake Level 2010. Chart provided by the Lake Sunapee Protective Association.

Smartphone app assists Lake Sunapee citizen scientists

“Binghamton graduate designs Android application” is the headline. And when you read on…you’ll see this story has a strong local connection…it takes you directly to Lake Sunapee and the area lake group, LSPA (Lake Sunapee Protective Association).

There is a new smartphone app that allows users “to record observations on weather, climate, and wildlife around Lake Sunapee.”

The Android application is called the LSPA Recorder and was developed by Brett Taylor, a Binghamton University grad, and Kenneth Chiu, an assistant professor of computer science, reports Ariel Argueso for Pipe Dream News, the university newspaper. And the program is already in use recording measurements and observations, according to yesterday’s article (January 24, 2011).

Read more via… Binghamton graduate designs Android application – Pipe Dream – News.

F & G Presents Plan for Hay Reservation

Logo of the United States Fish and Wildlife Se...

Image via Wikipedia

The US Fish and Wildlife Service will present their draft conservation plan and environmental assessment for the John Hay National Wildlife Reservation in Newbury (NH) tonight March 11 at the Newbury Town Hall at 7 p.m. The draft plan has three alternatives that will be discussed. “One of these alternatives of the management plan will guide the refuge for the next 15 years, and is important to residents in the Sunapee area,” said June Fichter, executive director of the Lake Sunapee Protective Association. In an email announcement, Fichter encouraged the public to attend and provided a website link to the draft plan:

New Lake Sunapee Watershed Project Gets Underway


Map of the Lake Sunapee Watershed

A federally funded project to create policy recommendations for local government to protect the Lake Sunapee Watershed is underway. And national and regional experts will be in Newbury, NH on Wednesday, October 28 to explain the initiative. The project’s first public meeting will be held at the Newbury Town Hall from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Those interested in attending are asked to sign up by contacting the Lake Sunapee Protective Association, phone 603-763-2210 or email

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) earlier in the year awarded Syntectic International LLC, Antioch University New England, the Lake Sunapee Protective Association, and partners $243,000 to prepare the Lake Sunapee watershed for climate change and population growth. (See the prior news article posted on

The project partners hope to protect a vulnerable storm-water and drinking-water system and develop and distribute practical information for safeguarding communities. This  undertaking will also provide specific estimates of climate change impacts on the Lake Sunapee watershed.

“By developing a local-scale action protocol, the project team aims to maintain historic storm water risk levels for the Lake Sunapee watershed and other communities facing significant impacts from climate change and population growth,” according to a recent  press release about the project.

The meeting in Newbury on the 28th will give the participants an opportunity to learn about the new project and the challenges that result from increased storm water runoff and development patterns in the Lake Sunapee watershed. Working groups will be formed to create policy recommendations for specific infrastructure needs.

What is a Watershed? A watershed is the area of land from which all water drains into a particular lake, river, stream, wetland or ocean. Watersheds are natural areas determined by topography and the boundaries can be drawn on a map by connecting the tops of the tallest hills surrounding a body of water (see map).

Water that falls within our watershed boundary flows downhill and much of it ends up in Lake Sunapee. Watersheds can vary in size from just a few acres to hundreds of millions of acres, as every body of water – from Chalk Pond to the Mississippi River – has its own watershed. The Lake Sunapee Watershed is part of larger watershed basins, the Sugar River and the larger Connecticut River watersheds. – Sunapee Area Watershed Coalition (SAWC)

NOAA Awards $243,000 to Prepare Lake Sunapee Watershed for Climate Change/Population Growth

National Oceanic and Atmosferical Administrati...
Image via Wikipedia

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded Syntectic International, LLC of Portland, Oregon; Antioch University New England of Keene, New Hampshire; and the Lake Sunapee Protective Association of Sunapee, New Hampshire, and partners $243,000 to prepare the Lake Sunapee watershed for climate change and population growth.

The project partners hope to protect a vulnerable storm-water and drinking-water system and develop and disseminate practical and transferable information for safeguarding communities, as well as provide specific and reliable estimates of climate change impacts on the Lake Sunapee watershed. By developing a local-scale action protocol, the project team aims to maintain historic storm water risk levels for the Lake Sunapee watershed and other communities facing significant impacts from climate change and population growth.

Recent experience and scientific studies are clear. Storm patterns are worsening and it is no longer prudent to delay action. We will never have perfect science; however sufficient science is available now. This project will protect the community with adequately reliable, local-scale information to support informed decisions. – Latham Stack, CEO of Syntectic.

The interdisciplinary team includes lead investigator Latham Stack, CEO of Syntectic International; Michael Simpson, Jim Gruber, and Colin Lawson of Antioch University New England; Dr. Robert Roseen of the University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center; Thomas Crosslin from Climate Techniques of Portland, Oregon; and Robert Wood of the Lake Sunapee Protective Association. Internationally recognized adaptation expert Joel Smith with Stratus Consulting in Boulder, Colorado will also be a team member. Five of the eight researchers are either Antioch New England alumni or faculty.

The project, funded by the Climate Program Office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will focus on the lake Sunapee watershed area. This region, like many others, is experiencing an unusual and ongoing period of extreme or record rainfalls that significantly diverge from the historical climate pattern. Previous studies by the team in New England found that, as a result of already changed rainfall patterns, portions of existing drainage systems are currently undersized.

By encouraging the participation of local stakeholders, the project will empower citizens to choose adaptation plans that are best for their towns. For example, Low Impact Development methods can minimize runoff and significantly reduce the need for more expensive drainage system upgrades.

According to Michael Simpson, director of Antioch New England’s Resource Management and Conservation master’s program, “The availability of reliable and economical solutions can make the difference between returning to historical protection levels, or continuing to expose people and assets to worsening hazards.” Simpson explained that storm water engineers and planners have always needed to cope with uncertainty and change, and the construction of water systems designed using best-available knowledge has always proceeded in parallel with the development of theory. “The past was not as certain as we like to think, and problems posed by population growth and climate change are actually not that different from previous challenges,” said Simpson.

The project will be broadly transferable, according to Stack. The team hopes to catalyze similar work nationwide, reducing further loss of life and damage from worsening storms. By demonstrating a practical protocol for action, this study will provide urgently needed decision-support to leaders seeking to maintain historical protection levels in their communities.

Learn about Loons, Tuesday at Sunapee Harbor

Three loons on Lake Sunapee (2007)

Three loons on Lake Sunapee (2007). Photo courtesy of Susan Parmenter.

Susie Burdidge, a field biologist with the Loon Preservation Committee, will be in Sunapee (July 28) tomorrow  afternoon to discuss loons, their natural history and interaction with humans. She will also talk about the work of LPC.

Burdidge is responsible for the Monadnock Region that includes Lake Sunapee, and she has recently been out on the lake to survey the loons. Lois Gould, Burkehaven Boatworks, assisted Burdidge by providing a boat and lots of local knowledge.

The July 28 program on loons will be  held at 4 p.m. at Sunapee Harbor at the headquarters of the Lake Sunapee Protective Association; it is open to the public free of charge.

“Loons are indicators of the health of aquatic ecosystems,” Burdidge told SunapeeNews today. “It’s important to understand what is happening with them.  And if you work to save loons and their habitat, you are also helping many other species that require clean water and quiet environments … including people.” – Susie Burdidge, field biologist with the Loon Preservation Committee.

Please send your favorite photos of loons for our sister publication,

Artificial Light and Freshwater Life, June 2 in Sunapee

Amongst the on-line calendar listings one can find on the new community calendar provided by Sunapee’s Abbott Library is a program titled: How Artificial Light Affects Freshwater Organisms. On Tuesday, June 2 the Lake Sunapee Protective Association will host Dr. Marianne V. Moore, a professor at Wellesley College, who will discuss research results on “how artificial lighting at night affects organisms in lakes and ponds.” Event location: Knowlton House, Sunapee Harbor. Time:  7 to 8 p.m. The public is invited to attend free of charge. For more information, call LSPA at 603-763-2210.

Lake Monitoring Worshop for Volunteers May 16

The NH Department of Environmental Services Volunteer Lake Assessment Program (VLAP) is holding its annual workshop on Saturday, May 16 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at DES’s office building, 29 Hazen Drive in Concord.  Workshop participants will learn about VLAP and how to: Become part of an important program that helps monitor the state’s water quality, identify aquatic plants, and utilize lake sampling techniques. Also, workshop attendees will learn more about cyanobacteria and its potential link to neurodegenerative diseases. In addition to the popular lake ecology and aquatic plant identification sessions, a special guest will present on how you can volunteer for the Loon Preservation Society. The registration fee is $5.

Click here for more information. or contact Sara Steiner, VLAP Coordinator, at (603) 271-2658, or email

Telephoto view from east shore of Lake Sunapee
Image via Wikipedia

Related information: The Lake Sunapee Protective Association volunteer water quality program started in the 1980’s. It now tests the lake’s tributary streams as well as coves and deep sites. LSPA’s Water Quality Laboratory at Colby-Sawyer College analyzes the samples and the NH Department of Environmental Services provides an annual water quality report based on its analysis of the data as part of the VLAP (Volunteer Lake Assessment) Program. The college lab also processes samples for about 25 area lakes.

Related websites:

Lake Sunapee Protective Association – Water Quality

Pleasant Lake Protective Association – Water Quality

New Hampshire Lakes Association

NH Dept. of Environmental Services – Volunteer Lake Assessment Program

Loon Preservation Society

Art and Water Resources at LSPA, Sunapee Harbor April 29

The Lake Sunapee Protective Association invites the public to attend an illustrated presentation, “Art and Water Resources: Tracing Social, Ecological and Artistic Trends” by Elisabeth Ryan on Wednesday, April 29 at 7 p.m. at the Knowlton House, Sunapee Harbor. Ryan received an Edwin W. Gaston, Jr. Scholarship award for her project the illustrates the “role water has played ecologically and socially in the 19th and 20th centuries.” Ryan is a student at Colby Sawyer College in New London.


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