Registration for the 2015 Maine Lakes Conference & Celebration is Now Open!!!

2015lakesconference_logo_color_w_dateKeynote Speaker and National Geographic contributor Lisa Borre will speak on Conserving Lakes in a Time of Global Change. This is the year to STAND UP FOR MAINE LAKES – and this conference is the place to learn how to do it! Please visit our 2015 CONFERENCE PAGE for more information and to register today! 

Please note our change of venue! 

Call to Artists for the Maine Lakes Art Show & Sale

The 45th Annual Maine Lakes Conference & Celebration promises to be our best event yet to bring you the latest in lake science and new ideas for effective lake stewardship programs! This year, we are bringing you to Camp Skylemar on Trickey Pond in Naples, Maine, for an event that supports your continued efforts to protect our lakes, and something fun for you and your family and friends, too! We’ve combined our traditional informative sessions and workshops with fun-filled family activities outdoors: Stand Up Paddle Board yoga, paddle boarding lessons, guided kayaking, fly tyingour first Maine Lakes Art Show and Sale, and even a massage chair to provide you a moment of well-deserved relaxation! While it’s always time to “save our lakes,” we also want to be sure to CELEBRATE Maine Lakes, too, and all the things that make our lakes special. We hope to see you there on August 22!!!

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The Myth of Environmental Protection

by Tom Gordon

In 1970, there was no DEP, no shoreland zoning, and the Great Ponds Act was generally ignored as people dumped sand in their lakes to create beaches that could not last. Municipal sewage and industrial wastes were pouring into our rivers, streams, and lakes.

Times have changed! For 45 years, as COLA and now the Maine Lakes Society, we have advocated for strong but sensible regulations to protect the water quality and beauty of our lakes. Lakeshore property owners have accepted more stringent land use regulations because we know our lakes are fragile and our land use activities can impact the future of the waters we love. We accept regulation “for the sake of our lakes.” Continue reading

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Lakes Face Unprecedented Challenges

Maine’s freshwater lakes are under serious threat. A 2012 University of Maine study shows the clarity of many Maine lakes has declined as much as 20% since 1995. New evidence from Europe shows climate change is accelerating declines in water quality there.

If we do nothing, Maine’s lakes, long a precious asset to residents and those who visit Maine to enjoy them, could become not only a vanished treasure, but a costly liability. But we can do something to avert lake declines. LakeSmart is Maine Lakes’ answer to the freshwater challenge.

But we can do something! To learn more about Lake Smart, click here.  To support LakeSmart with your dollars by donating to the Maine Lakes Society, click here.

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Stephanie’s Sense of Place

Like many of us, Stephanie and Jim Turner realized a cherished dream the day they bought a lakeside place in Maineand named it “Our Song.”  Childhood summers spent with her grandparents near a small Maine pond left Stephanie with tantalizing memories of walking with them to the lake, catching glimpses of the beckoning water through the trees ahead, listening to birdsongs her grandmother repeated as they made their way along a dusty road and ecstatically reached the shore at last. Continue reading

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Climate Warming and Lake Eutrophication

LISA BORRE is a lake conservationist and writer who contributes the National Geographic‘s “Water Currents” blog. By permission we quote from work of hers that appeared in that blog: Climate Change Already Having Profound Impacts on Lakes in Europe and Warming Lakes: Barometers of Climate Change?

Global assessment shows 95% of lakes are warming

In 2010, National Geographic News reported on the results of the first comprehensive global study of lake temperature trends. The study — conducted by researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California using satellite data — found that in the last 25 years, the world’s largest lakes have been steadily warming, some by as much as 4°F (2.2°C). In some cases, the trend is twice as fast as the air temperature trend over the same period. Continue reading

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Maggie Shannon of Maine Lakes Society Testifies in favor of LD 1040: An Act to Enhance Funding Opportunities for Youth Conservation Corps

Good afternoon, Senator Saviello, Representative Welsh, and Distinguished Members of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee.  Continue reading

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Maggie Shannon for Maine Lakes Society testifies in favor of LD 839: An Act to Increase Conservation District Funding

Testimony of Maggie Shannon for Maine Lakes Society in favor of LD 839:  An Act to Increase Conservation District Funding

Good afternoon, Senator Edgecomb, Representative Hickman, and Distinguished Members of the Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee.  My name is Maggie Shannon; I live in Rome, and I am the Executive Director of the Maine Lakes Society and Coordinator of the LakeSmart Homeowner and Education Program.  Continue reading

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Maine Lakes could really use your help next Wednesday to pass this bill. Your grandchildren will thank you for it.

LD 40 Bans Fertilizer Next to Lakes

Mary Kretchmer, 8, along with her Dad, did an experiment with some water from the lake they monitor in New Hampshire. They added 1 teaspoon of 36/6/6/ fertilizer to one jar of Lake Wentworth water, none to another, put the 2 jars on a windowsill, stirred daily, and waited four weeks to see what would happen.

The two jars show Mary Kretchmer’s results.pond water experimentalger bloom in lake

The same thing could happen to waters here in Maine if we don’t take care of them.

Naturally forested lake shorelands have kept Maine’s lake water quality high until recent years.  Today’s population pressures, accelerated by longer growing seasons and intense, more frequent rain events, threaten to affect our pristine waters in the ways shown at left.  A recent satellite study of Maine lakes bore this out when it showed that many Maine lakes lost as much as 20% of their clarity between 1990 and 1995.

Unless we work together to shield our lakes from pollutants, water quality will decline. Continue reading

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2015 Lake Lovers Raffle

We appreciate all of these generous contributions to our 2015 Lake Lovers Raffle! Raffle drawing will be held on August 22, at the close of the 45th Annual Maine Lakes Conference and Celebration at Camp Skylemar in Naples, Maine. You do not need to be present to win! Full Details

 BIG TICKET ITEM: L.L. Bean Stand Up Paddle Board Package and PFD

L.L. Bean donated an 11’ 4” Atlantic SUP with coiled leash and aluminum paddle along with a personal flotation device in support of Maine Lakes Society and our efforts to protect the water quality of our lakes for all users. This rugged, all-around SUP is a great choice for both beginner and experienced paddlers weighing up to 210 lb, and is suitable for flatwater paddling and small waves. Value: $900+

 6 passes to the Boston Museum of Science

Enjoy a day of discovery and scientific exploration with family and friends to Boston’s Museum of Science!  Value: $120+

Bogg Boat Bag

Large beach tote bag, size 19”x15”x9.5”   Perfect for carrying your lake gear with room for a picnic lunch! “ The original BOGG BAG can handle it all! … made of durable EVA material with sturdy sides and flat treaded bottoms to keep your items where you want them!” Value: $60

Certificate to Calzolaios Pasta Company, 284 Main St., Wilton, Maine

Enjoy a scrumptious evening out at this Award Winning Italian Restaurant!  Value: $50

1 Dinner and Overnight Stay for 2 at the Village Inn

Famous for its duck dinners, waterside dining and inviting service, the Village Inn is central Maine’s destination for fine dining among the lakes. Comfortable Lodging in Picturesque Belgrade Lakes Village includes continental breakfast.  Value: $200

Grampa Pete’s Homebrew Sampler

Get ready for a real treat! Value: Priceless

2 Adult Tickets for a 3-hour Katahdin Cruise on Moosehead Lake

Offered by the Moosehead Marine Museum in Greenville, Value: $76

Half gallon Home-made Mt. Vernon Maple Syrup

Need we say more?  Value: Priceless

Thermacell Heated Insoles

Keep your feet cozy this winter with the latest in foot warming technology! 2,500 hours of warmth will take you through about four winters. Rechargeable, high-tech wireless thermal technology – can be operated by remote control while the foot warmer is in your shoes! Value $134 per pair

One Night Accommodations for Two at the Wilson Lake Inn

Includes scenic boat ride and breakfast for two! Value: $125+

Onset Water Temperature Pro v2 Data Logger with Optic USB Base Station (required for data download) and HOBOware Software Complete with a precision sensor for ±0.2°C accuracy, this logger measures temperatures between -40°C and 70°C (-40°F to 158°F) in air and up to 50°C (122°F) in fresh or salt water. The Universal Optic USB Base Station is used to offload data from any HOBO® data logger with an Optic USB interface. Value: $253

Complete Home Energy Audit (or $200 toward Home Insulation) from The Breathable Home

Want to learn how much energy your home uses and wastes and know how to save money on home heating and cooling bills? The Breathable Home’s expert technicians will perform this service for you when and where you say. Value $399

Songo River Queen II Sight-seeing Cruises on Sebago Lake – Five $10 passes

Enjoy a trip with family and friends exploring beautiful Sebago Lake onboard a replica of the famed Mississippi River Paddle Wheelers! The 93” long Songo River Queen offers “an exceptionally smooth ride for even the most timid of passengers…”   Value: $50 

Maine Wilderness Tours- ½ Day guided fishing trip on a lake or river of your choice in Central Maine.           Guide Mike Guarino specializes in the Belgrade Lakes and Kennebec River. Value: $150

Fin and Feather Seekers Guide Service – ½ day trip with Master Guide Bill Laflamme                  Fin & Feather Seekers Guide Service specializes in all types of lake and pond fishing as well as inland waterfowl and upland bird hunting. Value: $150

Discovery Tour of your Home Lake aboard the Melinda Ann, our Floating Classroom …

with a Cookout Lunch for 8! We’ll come to you, so you, your family and friends can explore the underwater world on your lake before we bivouac on the lake shore for a good old fashioned cookout. If your lake doesn’t have a public launch site, we’ll tour Great Pond and picnic on Crooked Island where swimming at a sandy beach is on tap.  Value: $800

Basket of Maine Books What’s better than a good read while relaxing lakeside? You will find a treasure-trove of stories and Maine history in this collection! Value: Priceless

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Maine Lakes Art Show & Sale

Call to Artists!

Due to a change of venue, we are revising our original call for plein air artists – please find our new Call to Artists details below.

2015 Maine Lakes Call to Artists Poster

Artists are invited to create and submit a painting completed during the summer of 2015 focused on Maine lakes for our first Maine Lakes Art Show & Sale, held in conjunction with the 45th Annual Maine Lakes Conference & Celebration at Camp Skylemar on Trickey Pond in Naples, Maine. 

Paintings must consider the question, what brings you the most joy and spiritual sustenance when you visit your favorite lake? 

Format: 10 x 10 or no more than 40” perimeter, any paint medium. Accepted paintings must be ready to hang either with a wrap around canvas or framed.

Artwork will be hung in the exhibit hall for viewing and sale on Saturday, August 22, from 8 am to 4 pm.  A “Meet the Artists” reception will be held at the close of the conference from 3 to 4 pm.

Unsold paintings will be on exhibit at the main floor gallery of the Maine Lakes Resource Center in the Village of Belgrade Lakes during the month of September. For exhibited paintings, we request a donation of 30% of sale price to benefit the Maine Lakes Society. Registered artists will be mentioned in our Fall newsletter and featured on our website.

All work must be suitably framed and wired for hanging at the time of submission. No saw-tooth hooks, please.  Work will be rejected if the mat or frame is poorly made or damaged.  Art work must be dry. Unframed canvas will be accepted if suitably finished, as in a wrap around canvas with no visible staples or edges.  Except for oil, encaustics and acrylics without mats, all other work must be protected by glass or plastic/acrylic glazing. Artists must make arrangements for art work to be delivered by either the afternoon of August 21 or by 7:30 am, August 22, the morning of the conference at Camp Skylemar. If they cannot attend the conference, art work must be delivered to the Maine Lakes Resource Center at 137 Maine Street, Belgrade Lakes, by August 19 in protective wrapping.

We invite all selected artists to attend the Maine Lakes Conference and participate either in the workshop sessions or other lake celebration activities. Lunch will be provided. 

Selected artists may bring additional lakes related prints and cards for sale in the exhibitor area of the conference. For sales of additional artwork, 30% of the sale will support the Maine Lakes Society.

Registration is limited to the first 20 people to sign up! 

Please register using our conference registration form:
Eventbrite - Stand Up for Maine Lakes! - 45th Annual Maine Lakes Conference & Celebration

If you have any questions about the art exhibit, please contact:

Lucia Swallow

Maine Lakes Art Show Coordinator

Phone: 207-778-9286   


please put “Maine Lakes Art Show” in the subject line

Thank You to our Maine Lakes Art Show & Sale Sponsor!

Allen Ins.

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Every Day is Earth Day

From Tom Gordon, Executive Director at Maine Association of Conservations Districts and a member of the board of the Maine Lakes Society. 

Forty five years ago today, I was co-chair400px-NASA-Apollo8-Dec24-Earthrise of the Colby Environmental Council, putting on teach-ins and outdoor activities for the very first Earth Day. We finished the day with a concert by Gordon Bok and I sat with the VP of Scott Paper Company – somewhat uncomfortable since Scott was behind the Kennebec River log drives which I had been researching and opposing. A few years later, the log drives were gone, Scott had built a new state-of-the-art plant, and the public had access to the Kennebec again.

Science, regulation, education, sociology and spirituality have all been part of the mix of trying to make incremental change in the way we treat our world. Today, I want to make soil conservation mean something more than an apology for big agribusiness. The mantra of “we must feed 9 billion people by 2050″ is false. We need to teach individuals and communities to sustainably feed themselves, locally and regionally, to be effective and efficient with their land use, and to not rely on the chemical and genetic tricks of big business. Soil has value, water has value, and these precious resources must be sustained and protected, and not wasted for short-term profit.

Today is Earth Day. But as we said 45 years ago, “every day is Earth Day.” Every day, we have the opportunity to think beyond our selves and make a difference in the world.The exercise of connecting with our environment is so sublime and complex that we must keep practicing it forever.

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