Status of Litter on the Pemaquid Peninsula

Pemaquid Watershed Association (PWA) conducted a field survey to assess the status of litter on the Pemaquid Peninsula as part of its initiative as an Affiliate of Keep America Beautiful (KAB).  The survey, called the “Community Appearance Index”, is a tool designed by KAB to visually assess the overall appearance of communities via the indicator of litter.

Volunteers with PWA’s Keep Pemaquid Peninsula Beautiful (KPPB) steering committee conducted the survey based on KAB protocol. The survey was conducted over several days in April to time it after snow melt but before the community-wide litter pickup events held around Earth Day.  A total of 56 half-mile sections of roads stratified across the six towns that are part of the Pemaquid Peninsula were driven, and the amount of litter seen was scored on a scale ranging from 1 to 4, with 1 being “minimal or no litter” and 4 being “extremely littered”.  This year’s Litter Index for Pemaquid Peninsula rated 2.51; last year’s index was 1.87.  This index rating indicates that there is an increased amount of litter observable this April than last April.

The Community Appearance Index is designed as an annual data collection tool to allow PWA to monitor the trend in litter. PWA will use the findings to guide the development of educational and outreach programs for litter prevention, waste reduction, recycling, and community beautification programs. In addition, PWA will provide the survey results to KAB for their use in identifying national trends regarding community improvement issues.

PWA is the very first Maine Affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s leading nonprofit that brings people together to build and sustain vibrant communities.  Pemaquid Watershed Association was established in 1966 and is a volunteer-based, membership-supported non-profit organization whose mission is to conserve the natural resources of the Pemaquid Peninsula through land and water stewardship and education. The Association’s office is located at 15 Courtyard Street in Damariscotta (entry at side of Salt Bay Café). For more information, visit www.pemaquidwatershed.org.

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