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In This Issue

  1. Save the Date for the Lake Conference
  2. Thaw(tful) Insights Webinar Series
  3. Springtime Zoom Trainings: LakeSmart and Look Out for Loons
  4. Action Needed to Fund LD 2141: Funding for Aquatic Invasives
  5. Maine Lakes at the Hall of Flags
  6. Valuing the Economic Benefits of Maine’s Great Ponds: Part 1
  7. Wake Update: Vermont’s New Rule
  8. Seasonal Lake Jobs
  9. Water Conference Reminder: March 28th in Augusta
  10. Volunteers Needed: Fire Works and Water Quality

Save the Date for the Lake Conference

Join us on the beautiful University of Maine Farmington campus for a full day of learning about the legacy and value of Maine’s lakes and ponds. Speakers and panels throughout the day will address a variety of topics around lake value and legacy, with many opportunities for networking with fellow lake advocates and connecting with those both near and far who share your passion for lake protection. The conference is once again co-hosted by Maine Lakes and Lake Stewards of Maine. 

Look for a registration announcement, along with the slate of speakers and panels, to come your way via email within the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, put the conference on your calendar and we’ll plan to see you there!

Thaw(ful) Insights Webinar Series

Swollen Bladderwort photo by Debbie Broderick

We are happy to be co-hosting this online series with our friends at Lake Stewards of Maine, and have enjoyed seeing many of you at one or more of our first three online events. We hope you can join us for the last two Zoom sessions in the series, and remember, if you want to catch up on ones you might have missed, you can find them HERE. (Note the most recent recording, a crayfish talk by Karen Wilson, will be posted early next week!)

PFAS in Maine Lakes and Rivers

Tom Danielson, Maine Department of Environmental Protection

Thursday, April 11 at 5 p.m. Register HERE.

You have probably read about PFAS in the news lately as it relates to contaminated farmland. Tom Danielson of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection will present information about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as “forever chemicals”, in Maine’s lakes and rivers.


Maine’s Newest Aquatic Threats 

Brett Willard and Christine Guerrette, Lake Stewards of Maine 

Thursday, April 18 at 5 p.m. Register HERE.

 In early 2023, four new plants were added to Maine’s watch list for potentially invasive aquatic plants. Since their addition, three new infestations of one of these new invaders have been discovered in Maine lakes, with likely more to come. In this webinar the Aquatic Invasive Species team at Lake Stewards of Maine will discuss how to identify these four plants and their native lookalikes, how LSM is engaging with lake communities with active infestations, and how volunteers can become involved in battling aquatic invaders across Maine. 

Springtime Zoom Trainings LakeSmart and Look Out for Loons

Loons of Mount Desert Island, The Photo Society


The following 2023 on-line trainings are for new LakeSmart evaluators who are planning to visit lakeshore properties to complete evaluations and provide recommendation for homeowners about lake-friendly practices. Both of the following sessions are required for all new evaluators. Of course, we also welcome experienced evaluators that are looking for an information refresh. Both trainings will be recorded and uploaded to our website following the live presentations.


If you would like to learn more about LakeSmart, contact Andrea Stevens at She will tell you more about the steps needed to set up a LakeSmart program with a team of local volunteers. 


New Evaluator Basics: Lake Science Introduction, How LakeSmart Works, and an Overview of the LakeSmart Property Evaluation

Tuesday May 7 at 4 pm. Register HERE.

 LakeSmart Program Coordinator Caroline Murray will present some basics of Lake Science and introduce the LakeSmart process. Andrea Stevens, LakeSmart PRogram Manager, will talk about the LakeSmart Property Evaluation, standards for water quality, and a few examples of Best Management Practices. 


Installing and Using Survey123

 Tuesday May 14 at 5 pm. Register HERE.

Join Becky Schaffner, GIS Coordinator at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, to learn about LakeSmart’s electronic data entry system, Survey123. She’ll walk through how to install the program on your mobile device and how to enter and submit Evaluation data into the app. 


Once both virtual training courses have been completed, the next step in the process is to attend an on-site training at your lake or one nearby. Once you request an on-site training, Andrea, Caroline or a regional LakeSmart Coordinator will travel to you and walk through two evaluations on lakeshore properties with your group. Contact Andrea ( to schedule an on-site training.


Look Out For Loons 

Now in its fourth year, the Maine Loon Restoration Project is helping ensure that loons nest successfully on lakes and ponds across Maine. Read below for opportunities to join Zoom meetings to learn more and to get started with the year’s volunteer trainings. 


Introduction to the Maine Loon Restoration Project: Loon Outreach, Nesting Rafts, Nest Protection, and Fish Lead Free Efforts 

Tuesday March 26 at 12 pm. Register HERE.

Tuesday March 26 at 5 pm. Register HERE.

Love loons and want to learn more about what you can do to help them survive and thrive on Maine’s lakes? Join Loon Restoration Project staff in one of these two online webinars to learn more about loons and how people all over the state are getting involved in the Maine Loon Restoration Project, a collaborative effort to increase loon productivity and survival through local loon outreach, nesting platforms, nest protection, and fish lead free efforts.


Introduction to the Look Out for Loons Program 

Wednesday April 10 at 12 pm. Register HERE

Wednesday April 10 at 5 pm. Register HERE

Join a virtual “Look Out for Loons” gathering lead by returning project director James Reddoch and other Loon Restoration Project partners to hear more about what how you can join a growing team of volunteers who are working to decrease disturbance to nesting loons, and increase their nesting success, by sharing information, actions, and advice to lake users and visitors. You’ll learn about what the program has done in the last year, and the many different options for getting involved. You can become a loon expert and help us all “Look Out for Loons”.

Want to learn more about all the different aspects of the Maine Loon Restoration Project’s activities?

Maine Audubon has put together a 2024 Newsletter with the highlights of the 2023 season and more about plans for 2024. Check it out here.

Action Needed to Fund LD 2141 Funding for Aquatic Invasive Species

Milfoil Infestation Photo by Joe Phelan, Central Maine

In breaking news from Augusta, the Maine Legislature officially ENACTED LD 2141, a bill that will appropriate $2,000,000 to the Invasive Aquatic Plant and Nuisance Species Fund to address the most serious invasive aquatic plant infestations. This is a major win (along with passage of a bill that increases revenue from Lake and River Protection Sticker, LD 1342 that is critical to reducing risks from the spread of aquatic invasive species.

But we are not finished yet! The bill now goes to the “Appropriations Table,” where it awaits final approval along with an allocation of funds. You can help make this happen with one simple and extremely easy step! 

Our colleagues at Maine Audubon have created a petition you can sign in support

of LD 2141. Maine Audubon will deliver this petition to the Maine State Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, which is the body that will ultimately decide whether or not to fund the bill. 

Thank you in advance for taking just a quick second to add your name to the petition and speak up for lake health! 

If you’d like to receive occasional Legislative Alerts that will keep you up to date on lake bills in Augusta, please sign up here.  

Maine Lakes at the Hall of Flags

Maine Lakes Executive Director Susan Gallo with (from L to R), Gail Rice, Maine Lakes Board Member , Kelly Margolis, Maine Lakes Treasurer,; Susan Adams, Maine Lakes Board President; Melissa Genoter, UMO Senior; and Doug Kavanaugh, Maine Lakes Board Member.

Maine Lakes was honored to be included in the Maine Association of Nonprofits lobby day at the State House on February 15th. Board members Doug Kavanaugh, Susan Adams, Kelly Margolis, and Gail Rice joined Executive Director Susan Gallo and University of Maine student Melissa Genoter at the Maine Lakes table to talk to legislators, share important lake news like the recent UMaine economic study (see below), and discuss LD 2214, a bill that would provide a blanket sales tax exemption for all nonprofit organizations. We know this would be an important benefit to our member lake associations, and we were happy to discuss this with legislators while we also talked about bills around wake surfing, invasive species funding, and shoreland zoning protections.  

It was a wonderful day full of many meaningful conversations with decision-makers. If you ever want to “jump in” to an event like this, we always welcome passionate lake advocates to help us out at tabling events. Email Susan Gallo for more information about how to join these kinds of outreach events.

Valuing the Economic Benefits of

Maine's Great Ponds: Part 1

Maine’s lakes provide valuable habitat for wildlife, abundant opportunities for anglers and recreationists, vast acreage for boaters, and seemingly infinite scenic views for residents and visitors. All of those amenities are of course valuable on their own, but they also contribute to sizeable economic benefits across the state. From lakeside businesses to marinas to real estate to license fees, spending in and around clean and healthy lakes contributes to all scales of our economy.   

In the fall of 2021, the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund awarded funds to Maine Lakes and the University of Maine at Orono to launch a new study about the contribution of Maine’s lakes to the state’s economy. Working with Adam Daigneault (Associate Professor of Forest Policy and Economics) and Melissa Genoter (soon-to-be UMaine graduate), the project started as an update to the 1996 “Great Ponds Task Force” lake economics study. Daigneault raised additional funds from the Water Resources Research Institute to expand the study, including a modeling project looking at the relationship between real estate values and water clarity led by Jianheng Zhao, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Maine. 

We will be writing more about this project and the results in the coming months, but wanted to share the first outreach piece that Melissa has developed. The piece Let’s Be Clear: Clean Lakes Are Good For Maine’s Environment and Economy highlights some big take aways from the recent study, in a format we hope will appeal to decision-makers and help them make the case for lake-friendly policies at all levels of government. Please feel free to pass on this link to any decision-makers in your community, and look for more on the study in the next e-news. You can also see a presentation by Jianheng and a poster by Melissa at the upcoming water conference (see below for more information).

Wake Update: Vermont's New Rule

Photo by Susan Cover, Specctrum News

A draft bill in the Maine legislature would require additional education of new wake boat owners and place some common-sense limitations on how close they can operate to shore. However the bill is still changing as we write and it goes through language review and further debate by the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee. We hope the final language will emerge soon in a bill that we can support. Stay tuned for more on that! 

In the meantime, we wanted to share the good news that Vermont has passed first-in-the nation rules for boats operating in “wake sport mode” (engaged in producing large wakes for surfing and boarding). Boats operating in this mode are prohibited on 43 of Vermont’s 73 lakes that were deemed too small for this activity (generally under 50 acres). On the remaining lakes, boats in “wake sport mode” must operate at least 500’ from shore and in water that is at least 20’ deep. Residents must also declare a “home” lake for their wakeboats each year but may move them to a new lake after visiting a certified decontamination station. The rules go into effect for the 2024 boating season. 

Click here to read the final rules.

For more about Responsible Wakes for Vermont Lakes, the coalition that has worked tirelessly and with tremendous public support on the petition that lead to the creation of this rule, click here.

Seasonal Lake Jobs

Photo by Water Footprint Calculator

Did you know that Maine Lakes maintains a webpage listing lake-related jobs posted by our members and colleagues? All listed positions are paid, and most are seasonal. If you know of someone with a passion for lake protection and a desire to work in, on or beside a lake for a summer or a season, please point them to this page on our website. If your organization has a position to share with the lakes community, please send us an email with the position title, job description, and a link to the original job posting and we will add your listing to the page.

Water Conference Reminder: March 28th in Augusta

Water and Sustainability Conference, Augusta, March 28th, 8:30-4:00

The Maine Sustainability & Water Conference provides an annual forum where professionals, researchers, consultants, citizens, students, regulators, and planners gather to exchange information and present new findings on sustainability and water resource issues in Maine. We are thrilled that there will be six presentations this year affiliated with Maine Lakes members, staff, board members and project partners. And through a true scheduling miracle, you can see them all!

Click the links for each topic below, and click here to register, or here for more information about the conference. Hope to see you there!

Session 5: Communication in Conserving Maine's Lakes, Streams and Rivers

Protecting Cross Lake – Unique in Many Respects, Presenter: Cheryl St. Peter (Friends of Cross Lake, Maine Lakes board member), 8:30AM-8:55AM 

Prototyping a new way for on-the-ground communication across the state, Presenters: Susan Gallo (Maine Lakes) and Amy Bonsall (Lake Wesserunsett Association) 9:00AM-9:25AM

The greatest threat to our Pond is the belief that someone else will save it, Presenter: John Eliasberg (Georges Pond Association and LakeSmart volunteer), 9:30AM-9:55AM

Session 1: Improving & Conserving Biodiversity Yard by Yard

LakeSmart: 20 Years of Neighbor-to-Neighbor Marketing for Lake-Friendly Yards, Presenter: Caroline Murray (Maine Lakes), 1:35PM-2:00PM 

Session 10: Maine lake resilience and response to regional and climate stressors

Assessing need and feasibility of bacterial monitoring at freshwater beaches in Maine, Presenter: Margo Kenyon (Colby student and Maine Lakes intern, Summer 2023) 2:15PM-2:30PM  

Valuing the Economic Benefits of Maine’s Lakes and Great Ponds in the 21st Century, Presenter: Jianheng Zhao (University of Maine, a project started with seed funding from Maine Lakes and the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund), 3:40PM-4:00PM 

Volunteers Needed:

Water Quality After Fireworks Displays

Our colleagues at the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) are partnering with researchers from across the country investigating the occurrence of perchlorate in lakes and reservoirs following fireworks displays. Perchlorate is used as a propellent in professional and consumer fireworks and has been found in surface waters following these events in the past. The current work expands this sampling to a national scale and seeks to develop a Soil and Water Assessment Tool to aid in EPA’s development of Maximum Contaminant Levels. Find more information about the grant.


NALMS is helping identify water quality professionals, volunteer monitors, community scientists, and others interested in water quality to conduct sampling before and after the Fourth of July Holiday in order to ensure a national perspective on this data set.


Volunteers will be asked to collect samples 3 times; once in the month/week before the Fourth of July, once between the 5th and the 7th of July, and once between the 16th and 25th of July. No special equipment is needed to collect these samples, and all sample containers, supplies, postage and mailing materials will be provided by the grant team along with instructions.


If you are interested in volunteering for this effort, please click on the button below to complete a brief form. If you have questions, please email 

Volunteer for Fireworks and Water Quality Study

Look for our next newsletter in April!  

We'll have more conference news, a legislative wrap up, and news about our Freshwater Education Network! 

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