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Abstract or Description

Maine State Parks are in their 77th year, providing public access to a variety of scenic views, picnicking opportunities, freshwater and saltwater swimming, hiking, camping and a variety of other activities.1 These opportunities allow individuals to experience relatively undeveloped nature and can protect habitat for a variety of wildlife. On the other hand, concentrating large amounts of people in these natural areas can lead to degradation, and should be monitored closely and managed to the greatest ability.

In 2010, Reid State Park, in Georgetown, Maine was the most visited Maine State Park for day use, with 181,149 visitors.2 The Park offers swimming opportunities in the surf and a lagoon, as well as multiple picnicking sites and walking trails. The high number of visitors potentially have a significant impact on the area. I aimed to estimate where that impact is concentrated using a GIS model. I also considered impact on water quality by comparing water quality results from several testing sites with modeled impact.

About the Author

Meagan Hennessey (’14) is double majoring in Economics and Environmental Studies: Science, focusing in Conservation Biology. She is from West Bath, Maine.

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