Fall/Winter 2015 Newsletter

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LakeSmart Program Director to Present to MEREDA

maggie_shannon_2015-10-08Maine lakes offer some of the most beautiful living and recreational spaces in the state. It’s no secret that waterfront property is highly valued, and the increasing cost of lakefront properties reflects our cultural attraction to water and the scenic beauty, solace, and recreational opportunities that our lakes provide. How lakeshore landowners manage their land directly influences the health of their lake and wellbeing of the surrounding community. Beyond the intrinsic value of keeping lake waters healthy and clean, there are also significant economic benefits such as high and stable property value and lakeshore property tax revenues that add to municipal tax bases, lakes as a drinking water source, and the healthy aquatic habitat that lakes provide for the fish and wildlife we enjoy watching, fishing or hunting.

Maine realtors and developers, with  a vested interest in the value of lakeshore properties and attractiveness of lake communities, understand these goods are increasingly linked to water quality. The LakeSmart Program, now in its third year under Maine Lakes Society management, is a tool that protects the lake, community health, and property values, too.  LakeSmart Program Director Maggie Shannon will be speaking at the Maine Real Estate and Development Association (MEREDA) breakfast on December 10, in Portland, to share information on the many benefits of landscaping that protects our lake waters from stormwater runoff that may carry pollutants and excess nutrients into the lake, and how the LakeSmart program is transforming the way lakefront properties are perceived and cared for.

For more information and to register, visit the MEREDA website!

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Business Alliance for Healthy Maine Lakes

Healthy lakes are critical to sustaining the economic health, cultural values, and environment of communities statewide. Half of the State of Maine is in a lake watershed. Generating more than $3.5 billion annually in economic activity, our lakes provide over 52,000 jobs and supply drinking water to half of our residents. Over a decade of data shows lake health declining in Maine, largely due to lakeshore development practices, compromising our future prosperity and quality of life.  In lake communities, the lakes are the economic engine that can sustain an active local economy.

The Business Alliance for Healthy Maine Lakes engages local businesses, and corporations with Maine-based offices, in support of our work with lake associations, individuals, and our conservation partners to protect water quality and the vibrancy of lake communities now and long into the future. Our Charter Members will work with us to shape the Business Alliance with mutual benefits in mind – we seek to strengthen connections between businesses and lake associations and their members, and all who benefit from our lake resources. Investment in our lakes is a sound investment in prosperity for companies reliant on Maine’s natural resources and the estimated 650,000 residents and visitors who enjoy our lakes each year.

The Business Alliance may mean different things to different businesses. As you support our work to protect Maine lakes, we want to enhance your connection to lake communities. This may be in the form of collaborative marketing, social networking events, or matching volunteers with good work on the ground to protect a particular lake. We will build this Alliance together with the goal of improving and maintaining the health of our lakes. We have many challenges ahead as the pressures on our waterways increase; growing a network of cooperation that supports business, builds and sustains our lake associations, and bolsters our collective capacity to keep Maine lakes healthy, will garner dividends for all lake stakeholders.

For more information, please contact Cheryl Daigle by phone at 207-817-3360 or by email at cpdaigle@mainelakessociety.org.

ABOUT THE MAINE LAKES SOCIETY

The Maine Lakes Society engages lake users and stakeholders in lakes education and sound stewardship practices, with the realization that healthy lakes provide a basis for economic prosperity and cultural activity that is intimately tied to the environment. Our work with lake associations and other lake conservation organizations over the past 40 years has played a key role in protecting the health of hundreds of Maine lakes to date, and provides annual networking and learning opportunities connecting our professional peers with others interested in lake conservation statewide.

Support the work of Maine Lakes Society to keep our lakes healthy! We offer an exciting array of lake-focused programs with a broad reach to lake users and lakeshore landowners across the state:

  • Council of Lake Associations – 144 Lake Association members and growing.
  • LakeSmart – our non-regulatory, voluntary program to teach landscaping practices that protect lakes from stormwater runoff and prevent unwanted algal blooms.
  • Lakes Alive! experiential youth and adult education program with our 30-foot floating classroom, the Melinda Ann.
  • Our Annual Maine Lakes Conference offers excellent lake learning and networking sessions to empower the lake stewards of today and tomorrow.
  • Developing partnerships with  academic institutions and watershed  managers  on lakes research and communications.

Contact us to learn more about these programs and how you and your business can get involved today!

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45th Annual Maine Lakes Conference Informs and Inspires

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.

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Keynote presentation by Lisa Borre on Conserving Lakes in a Time of Global Change. Photo by Ryan Burton.

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