Strengthening Lake Resistance
The LakeSmart Program transferred from the Department of Environmental Protection to Maine Lakes Society in the Fall of 2012. “We’re excited by the opportunity to run LakeSmart,” said Maine Lakes President Steve Kahl. “Protecting Maine lakes from harm is what are all about. Today, with 10% of Maine’s great ponds at risk from development and increasing pressure from climate change, LakeSmart is the best strategy we have to preserve long term lake health.”
Recent Grants Guarantee 2013 Season
Maine Lakes received two $10,000 grants in 2012 that covered about 1/2 of our budget and allowed us to operate the program in 2013. This Fall were successfully applied for an received $10,000 from the Horizon Foundation in Portland, ME. We need to raise an additional $35,000 during 2014 and will be getting support from Colby College, and the Maine Association of Conservation Districts. Please consider supporting this incredibly powerful program by making your tax-deductible donation before the end of the year. The future of Maine's lakes is in our hands, and it begins today.
Modeling What Stewardship Looks Like
LakeSmart educates homeowners about land use strategies that prevent polluted water and sediment from entering the lake. And it recognizes homeowners who adopt conservation practices by awarding them with distinctive LakeSmart signs. The signs let everyone know that a "Friend of the Lake Lives Here" and that the Friend has taken steps steps to prevent nutrient-based pollution from entering the water. And it serves as a demonstration site from which others can learn. With these concrete examples as models, the idea of doing the right thing by the lake spreads through the community.
Once the “buzz” about LakeSmart gets going on a lake, the idea of living lightly on the land becomes contagious. Momentum builds. “Behavior change is truly a person-to-person process,” said Maine Lakes' Executive Director, Rebecca Kurtz. “As social beings we follow the lead of our friends and neighbors on most things. Lake associations are uniquely suited to promote lake protection efforts because their members socialize, sail and swim together. They are a community. LakeSmart is a great fit.”
Registration Opens in January
After completing an extremely successful first year, Maine Lakes will begin accepting applications for the 2014 summer season this January. Information will be posted on the Maine Lakes web site January 1, 2014 and by direct communication to lake associations. Preference will be given to those lakes with active LakeSmart programs in 2011 and 2012, but all lake groups will be welcome to apply.