- Please Enjoy our latest and greatest Spring Newsletter v.44 of 2018!
Maine Lake Associations
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Toni Pied and Tamara Whitmore of Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed demonstrated for LD 178 at the State House on April 4, 2018.
With 1 click you can help double NPS funds-$10M over 5 Years!
Add your voice to theirs by signing on to this electronic petition today!
It will carry your support for clean and healthy water to the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee. That committee will vote up or down very soon on our $5M Bond to Provide Jobs, Improve Infrastructure and Protect Water Resources (LD 178) as well as a $50M Bond to Fund Wastewater Infrastructure Projects (LD 1510). 178 will double funds for stormwater abatement (think 319 projects), and 1510 deals with very serious point sources- septic overflows. It’s going to be a close thing! Our waters – from small streams to the gulf – need our help.
This is a rare chance to do so much good with just one click! Please sign on.
With many thanks,
Maggie Shannon, Maine Lakes Society
Economic risks justify action
Here in Maine we know all too well how much summer tourism effects our economy. And as we prepare for another busy summer, these findings state some crucial points on environmental concerns for our lakes, jobs and homes along the water fronts.
“These findings show that water quality in Lake Champlain and its surrounding basin is more than just an environmental concern,” says Voigt, a researcher at UVM’s Gund Institute and Rubenstein School. “It’s a major economic issue that affects homeowners, businesses and employees.”
“According to the study, Vermont lakeside communities would lose $16.8 million in economic activity and 200 full-time jobs – in July and August alone – for every one-meter (three-foot) decrease in water clarity.”
When the edges of a lake become green, as pictured below, we are not inclined to be thrilled with this type of green. As we work to protect Maine’s lakes and other bodies of water, we have been noticing a large amount of algae blooms due to an increasing amount of phosphorous in the water.
“Human activities are driving phosphorus levels in the world’s lakes, rivers and other freshwater bodies to a critical point. The freshwater bodies on 38 percent of Earth’s land area (not including Antarctica) are overly enriched with phosphorus, leading to potentially toxic algal blooms and less available drinking water, researchers report January 24 in Water Resources Research.” –BY CAROLYN GRAMLING posted in Science News.
Read more HERE from Science News
Read our post here for more info or follow us on Facebook!
When: Wednesday, April 4th, 2018 from Noon – 1pm
Where: Capitol Building in Augusta, Maine.
What’s this about? Supporting LD 178, a $5 million bond to protect our lakes, streams, rivers and coastal waters.
Why is it important? The bond doubles state funding for projects that keep our water safe and clean.
What should I do? Round up some friends and get to the plaza between the Capitol and the Cross Office Building by 11:45 next Wednesday. Wear blue to show legislators and the public that protecting water is really important. If you get into it, you can make signs about protecting lakes, loons and fish.
How long will it take? Less than an hour.
Tell me more about the bond. LD 178 will fund contractor jobs, improve road infrastructure and protect water resources. It directs $1 million a year for 5 years to the Department of Environmental Protection’s Nonpoint Source Pollution Program, a.k.a. the 319 Grant Program.
You have a voice; our lakes don’t. They need you to speak for them.
Can I talk to someone about this? Yes, call us at (207) 495-2301 Monday- Friday 9am-5pm.
“Conserving the amount of water used at home will not only help to keep your water bill lower, but it’s also better for the environment. When you save water, you can help to reduce pollutant and contaminant runoff into natural lakes, rivers, and streams as well as extend the life of your sewer or septic system. If you’re considering a water conservation plan for your house, there are several tips and tricks you can use to reduce your water consumption. Once you make these practices a habit, you’ll be surprised at just how much water you can save.”
“Maine’s nearly 6,000 lakes generate an estimated $3.5 to $6 billion in annual economic activity and support 52,000 jobs, while providing 400,000 Mainers with clean drinking water (Schuertz et al. 2001). This resource is at risk from increased developmental pressure, nutrient runoff, and the compounding effects of global climate change. Regulatory approaches, including mandatory shoreland zoning and restrictions on construction and dredging, have helped lake managers mitigate these risks. However, these top-down, enforcement-based approaches have not been sufficient to eliminate threats to Maine’s lakes or stem water quality declines.
LakeSmart, an innovative voluntary certification program, is a promising tool to address these challenges. Based on the principles of community-based social marketing, the LakeSmart homeowner education and recognition program promotes positive conservation behavior by lake shore residents and rewards practices that help stem the flow of nutrient runoff and septic effluents, important sources of lake pollution. From humble beginnings (Welch and Smith 2008), LakeSmart – now operating on 39 lakes and 1 river in 13 of Maine’s 16 counties – has become one of the most effective voluntary lake protection programs in the country.”
Read full article HERE
Norway has a vibrant economy based on natural resources and tourism with clean air, water, and forests protected by strict environmental rules. They produce oil but have a carbon tax with revenues dedicated to renewable power research and policy goals of reducing carbon emissions and stabilizing global climate change. Residents attend high-quality technical schools and universities for free. Their universal access healthcare system has government-funded hospitals, free care for those under 16 or pregnant, free choice of provider, public or private insurance for others (cost: 9% of GDP vs the 25% of GDP we pay). They have universal access to high-speed broadband with guaranteed net neutrality, efficient public transit systems (with bus schedules coordinated with train schedules) and high-quality roads (funded by gas taxes). They have the highest percentage of electric cars of any country in the world.
Norway is at or near the top of almost every ranking of quality of life and satisfaction. Their pension system ranks number #1 in the Natixis Global Retirement Index.
Why would any Norwegian want to come here?
To get more immigrants from Norway, we need to make the U.S. more attractive to them. The President should suspend efforts to overturn the Clean Power Plan and Clean Water Rule and increase the EPA’s budget for clean air and water programs instead of cutting them including removal of the WOTUS budget rider. He should recommit the U.S. to the Paris Climate Agreement and publicly call for actions similar to Norway’s. He should ask Senator Sanders to develop a universal single-payer health care plan for the U.S. These actions would not only make our country more attractive to Norwegians but also to Americans. Coincidentally, they would also help protect the water quality of Maine’s lakes, rivers, and streams and reduce ocean acidification in the Gulf of Maine.
Peter Kallin, Ph.D.
President, Maine Lakes Society
Call for Nominations
Volunteer lake stewards are the front lines of lake protection in Maine. The Maine Lakes Society seeks your help to identify the extraordinary leaders among us so that we can celebrate and learn from them. We are now seeking nominations to honor individual lake stewards and associations whose contributions are making a real difference for our lakes.
Awards will be presented at the 48th Maine Lakes Conference, June 23, 2018 at the University of Maine at Farmington.
Who inspires you? Let us know!
Lake Steward of the Year: Do you know an outstandingly inspiring person in your lake
community? Someone who has sparked important programs and seen them through to
implementation? Someone who inspires others to give lake conservation their best shot, too? We want to hear about dedicated stewards who are leaders in their communities.
Lake or Watershed Association of the Year: Are you proud of your lake association? Is it active in support of education, invasive species prevention or control, and water quality protection? How about outreach? Is your membership energized and informed? Tell us about your activities and programs so we can recognize and learn from real achievements.
Nominations are due by May 15, 2018.
And…Enjoy our Winter Newsletter here: For the Sake of Maine Lakes
Thank you to all who participated in our 45th Annual Maine Lakes Conference and Celebration on August 22nd! Our keynote presenter, Lisa Borre of The Clary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, led a great lineup of speakers with her informative presentation focused on climate change impacts on lakes and community action to identify and address multiple sources of threats to lake health. Borre provided a global context but brought it home with examples from Maine and elsewhere in New England, reminding the audience that some of the most important work to alleviate negative impacts of climate change begins at the local community level. Summaries of speaker presentations can be found here. Check back soon for links to presentations, more photos, and additional resources offered by presenters.
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
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
Good afternoon, Senator Saviello, Representative Welsh, and Distinguished Members of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. Continue reading
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
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.
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