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A study of Togus Pond and the environmental factors influencing the lake’s water quality will be presented at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 9, at the Fox Glen snowmobile club in Augusta. Colby students, who conducted research and evaluated data over the fall semester, will offer findings and recommendations. The presentation is open to the public and should last about one and a half hours.

Students will report that measurements of water quality revealed causes for concern and will recommend ways to improve water quality.

In recent years, students in the upper-level biology and environmental science course “Problems in Environmental Science” have studied many lakes in the region, including Threemile Pond, Webber Pond, and China Lake. Each year they present their findings to the public and provide a formal report to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP), town officials, lake associations, and other interested parties. The Colby study will complement an ongoing study by the MDEP, which is scheduled for completion in 2005.

  The MDEP and local lake associations have come to depend on the students’ data in their efforts to protect and improve lake water quality, MDEP officials said. Past research groups from Colby have recommended changes in land use within the watersheds to try to reduce the amount of phosphorus running off land into the lakes. Lake associations have funded follow-up activities in the past that enabled students to help implement some of their recommendations to abate phosphorus runoff, because phosphorus that enters a lake becomes a nutrient for algal growth and causes degradation of water quality.

Professors David Firmage and F. Russell Cole oversee the research conducted by senior biology – environmental science majors. This year 10 Colby seniors participated in the research project.

The Fox Glen snowmobile club is located on Buck & Doe Trail: take Route 3 to Weeks Mills Road. Continue 0.8 miles on Weeks Mills Road to Buck & Doe Trail, which is on the left. The club is the first building on the left on Buck & Doe Trail.