Fall 2016: Letter from the President, Peter Kallin

mlrc-visit-mt-vernon-may-18-2016-005Published in the Fall 2016 Newsletter

Dear Friends of Maine Lakes,

The French have an expression, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose,” or “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Our organization continues to change and grow as we build new programs like LakeSmart, expand old programs like Lakes Alive!, and go through a strategic planning process to figure out how to better position ourselves for the future. One thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that for 46 years, the Maine Lakes Society (née Maine Congress of Lake Associations, now united with Maine Lakes Conservancy Institute) has been taking proactive steps to protect Maine Lakes through science-based education, advocacy, and action. I know those who attended our 46th annual conference at Unity this summer learned something and hopefully came away inspired to take proactive action to better protect the lakes we love. I hope this newsletter will help inspire others who were unable to attend.

Our speakers presented ongoing research on the effects of human-induced climate change in our lakes; e.g., earlier ice out, later ice in, longer growing seasons for aquatic plants, earlier and stronger thermal stratification, changes in precipitation patterns, etc. In many cases, these changes are exacerbating issues such as growing anoxia (lack of oxygen) in the bottom waters of many lakes (see map to left) and increasing frequency of harmful algae blooms (HABs) (see summary of Linda Bacon’s presentation). Maine Lakes Society will continue to work with lake and climate researchers to fine tune our programs in ways that promote resilience for our lakes and improve our understanding of how they will change. Proactive programs like LakeSmart (including LoonSmart and StreamSmart) and Maine’s Shoreland Zoning regulations can help build resilience for our lakes by protecting biodiversity, enhancing shoreline habitat, and strengthening other key elements of Mother Nature’s natural lake protection systems.

Another thing that doesn’t change is the basic truth expressed by the great philosopher, The Lorax, in Dr. Seuss’ book of the same name: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” So what can you do to help? Become an active member of your association and help keep it viable. Contact us for ideas. Make sure your lake has a Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program (VLMP) certified monitor for water quality and invasive plants. Volunteer for your Courtesy Boat Inspection (CBI) program if you have a public boat launch on your lake. Don’t have a CBI program? Think about starting one. If your association is not already participating in LakeSmart, contact Maggie Shannon to find out how to get involved. Join Maine Lakes Society as an individual “Friend of Maine Lakes.” Recruit others to join. We need your help. The more members we have, the more effective our advocacy can be. Contact your legislator if we issue a “Legislative Alert.” Help protect a lake you love and all its Maine sister lakes. Don’t have time for any of the above? Go to our web site (www.mainelakessociety.org) and click the “Donate Now” button or just send us a check. That will allow us to continue to work on your behalf.

Best regards,

Peter Kallin

President, Board of Directors

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