Nick Bennett

Patty Wight/Maine Public

Recent reports of bacterial contamination in lakes caused in part by warm temperatures raise the question: What is the condition of the waters around us? We look at the water quality in our lakes, rivers and ocean, and how they measure up for human recreation and environmental health.

Fifteen years ago today the 160-year-old Edwards Dam on the Kennebec River in the heart of downtown Augusta was breached. 

Environmentalists say removing that dam, and the Fort Halifax Dam upriver in Winslow about eight years later, has not only improved the health of the river itself,  but has also contributed to a large increase in life, both in and near the river.   

Natural Resources Council of Maine Staff Scientist Nick Bennett says the river has started to breathe again.