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In This Issue

  1. Maine Lakes Summer Appeal
  2. Conference Update and Evaluation
  3. Governor's Proclamation: July is Lakes Appreciation Month
  4. The Value of Maine's Lakes: Over $14.4 Billion 
  5. Action Item: Share the Lake Economics Study with Decision Makers 
  6. Action Item: Stakeholder Group for the Interactive Lake Scorecards 
  7. Action Item: Join the Maine Crayfish Project 
  8. Sponsor Spotlight: Mr. Lakefront and Ocean View at Falmouth

Dear Friend of Maine Lakes,


As the 4th of July approaches, we hope you are making plans with friends, neighbors, and family for some time on a lake. Whether you live on a lake or visit friends who do, whether you set up a tent along a serene shoreline or take advantage of one of the hundreds of public boat launches around the state, we hope one or more of Maine's healthy, clean, beautiful lakes are in your holiday plans!


Our hope in preparing for the long holiday weekend ahead is to get our much delayed appeal letter out to all of you before we close up shop and head to the lake for a few days. If you are a newsletter subscriber or a previous donor or member, or if you have requested publications or purchased a Lake Book in the past year, look for our appeal shortly in your inbox or mail box. You can also read the summer appeal letter HERE



We make a compelling plea in our appeal:

Maine Lakes does not have the capacity it needs to do the

vital education and outreach programming we know we must

do to protect and conserve Maine's lakes for future generations.

While we have many generous supporters, including foundations, the Department of Environmental Protection, businesses, and many grantors, we count on core support from both individuals and lake associations to sustain our lake protection work each year.


We need your donations to do more with our programming; to expand our volunteer training and support; to proactively move sound science to lake-friendly policy; to reach new audiences with lake protection messages; and to ensure that all Mainers and Maine visitors know the value of our lakes and take action to keep them clean.


You can wait for the appeal to reach you, or you can support our efforts TODAY by visiting our Donations Page.


We appreciate all you do for lakes, and hope you consider Maine Lakes a worthy recipient of your philanthropic giving. Know that your donations support valuable lake outreach and education programming, and allow us to expand those efforts at a time when they are most needed.


Thank you for considering a donation and have a happy and safe 4th!

On behalf of Maine Lakes board and staff,

Susan Gallo

Executive Director

Conference Update and Evaluation

We are thrilled to report that our second joint lakes conference with Lake Stewards of Maine was a huge success. It was a busy day, full of conversations and visiting and learning, as we reached close to the venue capacity of 300 people at the Olsen Student Center at the University of Maine at Farmington.


We’d like to thank the folks at UMF for making the day run smoothly, as well as the small but mighty team of board members, volunteers and staff from each organization who pitched in to put all the pieces of the conference together.


We are so grateful for all the speakers who joined us to share their expertise, knowledge, and recent projects with the audience. Most of the conference talks will be online in the next couple of weeks. Check the CONFERENCE WEBSITE or look for links and more updates in the next newsletter.


Most of all we are thankful for our attendees, the heart and soul of our conference, who asked great questions and shared their passion and enthusiasm for lake protection. It was a pleasure to see put so many names to faces and to see so many long-time lake volunteers. If you didn't make it this year, we hope to see you at the next joint conference in 2025. Look for details in the fall!


For anyone who attended, please take just a few minutes to fill out our Conference Evaluation. We value your feedback and suggestions for making the 2025 conference even better!

CONFERENCE EVALUATION FORM

Governor's Prolcamation:

July is Lakes Appreciation Month

The governor has issued an official proclamation that July is Lakes Appreciation Month in Maine! The proclamation is in response to a request by Maine Lakes and a host of other lake and regional organizations who made the request that lakes be recognized as a vital part of the Maine brand, the Maine experience, and the Maine economy (read on for more about that!).


We'll be working in the next couple of weeks to get word to the press and spread the proclamation message that lakes need to be appreciated and cared for in order to stay clean and healthy for us all.


Look for press releases and news pieces over the next couple of weeks.


If you or someone from your association or watershed organization are working on lake projects and would be game to meet someone from the media to talk about why lake health is so important to all Mainers, please email sgallo@lakes.me.


It can be an invasive plant paddle, a LakeSmart evaluation, a water quality monitoring visit, education programming or really anything you are doing to help lakes in July. We will try to match up interested media people with local lake activists and volunteers from a broad cross section of Maine's lake community and representing as many different lake organizations as possible.


If you have a local news source, you can also email Susan (sgallo@lakes.me) for a copy of the press release.


Thank you for helping us spread the word about Lake Appreciation Month, and for all you do for lakes!

The Value of Maine's Lakes: Over $14.4 Billion

Adam Daigneault, E.L Giddings Associate Professor of Forest Policy and Economics at the University of Maine’s School of Forestry, and Melissa Genoter, a 2024 graduate of the University of Maine’s Ecology and Environmental Sciences program, lead the lakes economic study. Photo Credit: University of Maine.

A recent study by a team lead by Adam Daigneault at the University of Maine estimated the value of Maine's lakes to be at least $14.4 billion, with an additional $3 billion attributed to both direct and indirect spending associated with lake activities each year. The study is a culmination of three years of work by the team at UMO, which also included undergraduate student Melissa Genoter, who worked on the project for three of her four years there.


Melissa and Adam were the keynote speakers at the recent lakes conference so many of you might have heard their presentation there. We'll be sharing more of their work in the months to come (and see the next article for a way to share some of their great work now!). A recent article published by the University of Maine outlines more about what the study did and how the many pieces came together to tell a compelling story: Maine's lakes are incredibly valuable and they deserve to be protected!

Action Item:

Share the Lake Economics Study with Decision Makers

After the conference keynote speakers (Adam Daigneault and Melissa Genoter from the University of Maine at Orono) presented their recent findings on the economic value of Maine’s lakes, we asked conference attendees to take a look at the economic study data posted on the Maine Lakes website HERE and to send a PDF of a study summary (found HERE) here to their legislators with a note about how the study documents something we all have known all along: Maine’s lakes are incredibly valuable assets and vitally important to Maine’s economy!


Even if you didn’t attend the conference, you can still help us get the word out by sharing the summary document with your legislators (or local decision-makers at the town, county or regional level).


Not sure who your legislator is? Our friends at NRCM have a handy look-up tool HERE.


Thank you for helping get these incredible findings

 into the hands of more decision makers!

Action Item:

Join a Stakeholder Group for the Interactive Lake Scorecards for Maine Lakes


At the recent lakes conference, Jeremy Deeds from the lakes group at the Department of Environmental Protection spoke about a new initiative to develop an online interactive lake scorecard. The scorecard highlights areas of lake health (water quality, shoreland condition, invasive plants and vulnerability) in a “bullseye” graphic, with blue areas highlighting conditions that are good to red areas highlighting where conditions are poor. The website where the scorecards will be housed will have lots of information about how the scores were derived and what they mean. Jeremy is hoping to have a final draft of the scorecards and the website ready for release this fall.


But before that happens, Jeremy is looking to create a public stakeholder group of people interested in reviewing the scorecard and providing feedback about how well it functions. If you’d like to be part of this stakeholder group, please email Jeremy at jeremy.deeds@maine.gov for more information.

Action Item:

Join the Maine Crayfish Project

The Rusty Crayfish, a recent invader into the state of Maine, can often be identified by the rust-red patches on its carapace. Photo credit: Missouri Department of Conservation

The Maine Crayfish Project is an effort based at the University of Southern Maine and lead by Associate Research Professor Karen Wilson that aims to collect information on the distribution and abundance of crayfish species in Maine's lakes, streams and ponds. The goal of the project is to improve monitoring and management of the spread of this and other non-native crayfish species.


The project needs your help to expand knowledge of crayfish species found in Maine!


To learn more, including information about collecting crayfish samples, visit the Maine Crayfish Project or check out Karen’s recent “winter webinar" from our series with Lake Stewards of Maine HERE.

Conference Sponsor Spotlight:

Tom Ferent, the owner of the Mr. Lakefront real estate office in South Casco, has been a generous supporter of the lakes conference since 2019. Tom understands the connection between clean lakes and property value. If you were at the conference, you might have come across him handing out the latest edition of The Lake Book to attendees. Thank you, Tom, for your on-going support!


www.mrlakefront.net

207-655-8787

info@mrlakefront.net

We appreciate the support of OceanView at Falmouth for our 2024 lake conference! Just minutes from Portland, Maine, OceanView at Falmouth provides an independent, active, maintenance-free lifestyle in a wide variety of cottages and apartments. For more than 35 years, OceanView has been proudly locally-owned and managed, with a history of excellence in environmentally-sustainable retirement living.


www.oceanviewrc.com

207-781-4660


Look for our Late Summer Newsletter in August!   


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