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Nabbing Nitrogen: Join Our Clean Water Act Day of Action!

Join us to Nab Nitrogen in Portland Harbor, on Sunday morning, August 7! You will help us collect water samples around the Harbor to create a snapshot of nitrogen conditions and we need your help.

Picture yourself with 100+ other community members collecting simultaneous water samples on the water and along the shores of greater Portland Harbor, as well as on and around Little Diamond, Cushing, and Peaks Islands. We will scoop water into jars at 9:30 am from beaches, docks, piers, and all kinds of boats, from those we paddle to those we power. We will then collect the samples from you and send them to a laboratory for nitrogen analysis.

We will use all this data in our advocacy to reduce nitrogen pollution.

We will use the data to create a map of nitrogen levels. This will add to our nitrogen data set, which includes the results of our Nitrogen Nab five years ago and to staff collected data. These data allow us to gain a better understanding of sources of nitrogen and areas with excessive amounts of nitrogen. This helps Friends advocate to reduce nitrogen pollution.

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Why does nitrogen matter? Nitrogen is an essential nutrient found in all life forms and ecosystems. A healthy amount of nitrogen in Casco Bay supports the base of the food chain. But too much nitrogen from municipal wastewater, lawncare chemicals, stormwater, air pollution, and other sources can cause excessive algal growth that lowers oxygen levels and harms the health of the Bay.

By Nabbing Nitrogen with us on August 7, you will be helping us map nitrogen levels across Portland Harbor. The success of this effort hinges on community members coming together — this work will only be possible with the help of people like you. Your volunteer time will help us as we work with the state to set science-based nitrogen limits for discharge permits that will reduce pollution into coastal waters.

We hope to have more than 100 volunteers join us to Nab Nitrogen. We also have a special need for sea kayakers and boaters of all types to collect samples from the water. Please share this opportunity to be a scientist for a day with your family and friends. It takes a community to care for the Bay.

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