First National Bank sponsorship supports water quality and nature education on the Damariscotta

Posted:  Saturday, September 30, 2017 - 7:45am

Behind Damariscotta River Association’s (DRA’s) biweekly water quality monitoring efforts, islands and public lands stewardship, oyster gardening program, and school-based nature education programs is a boat: the solid and dependable Wendy J. And behind the Wendy J is First National Bank (FNB).

Continuing a long tradition, FNB has once again stepped up as annual sponsor of DRA’s “workhorse on the water,” affirming the bank’s commitment to a healthy river and nature education for all ages.

“We’re truly grateful to First National Bank for their continued sponsorship of the Wendy J, especially this year, when they came forward with generous support for our capital campaign,” remarked DRA Executive Director Steven Hufnagel. “First National Bank is so important to our local economy, and they clearly appreciate, as we do, the value of clean water to so many industries in our region.”

Throughout the boating season, the Wendy J can be seen shuttling volunteer water quality monitors to seven points along the River, where they test for dissolved oxygen, temperature, salinity, clarity, and nitrogen levels. These data are shared with a regional collaborative, the Maine Coastal Observing Alliance, and have been useful at the state level in legislation.

Last month, the boat was instrumental in installing the newly repaired dock at Dodge Point, helping to maneuver the large floating platform into place. This week, she is doing duty as school bus for students from South Bristol School, who are participating in a week-long education program on neighboring Witch Island. In October, the Wendy J will be on hand as DRA’s oyster gardeners put their oysters “to bed” for the winter.

A non-profit, membership supported, and nationally accredited land trust and conservation organization, Damariscotta River Association is dedicated to preserving and promoting the natural, cultural, and historical heritage of the Damariscotta region, centered on the Damariscotta River.

For more information call (207) 563-1393, email, or view their website at