Hands on Learning on Our Exciting Floating Classroom – A Wide Range of Expeditions Awaits You!

Our Lakes Alive! program is an innovative and award-winning lake education program originally developed by the Maine Lakes Conservancy Institute (MLCI) more than a decade ago. The Maine Lakes Society adopted the program when it merged with MLCI in 2010. Today, we are rebuilding the program and improving our cpacity to engage both children and adults in understanding and protecting Maine’s lakes. Our 30-foot pontoon boat, the Melinda Ann, is the centerpiece of Lakes Alive! Outfitted with innovative instruments, it is the most exciting classroom that students and adults have ever seen.

The Melinda Ann is available to community groups, lake associations, summer camps and other organizations wanting to involve the public in a fun and educational day on the water.  We can tailor the expedition content to meet your needs. As the Melinda Ann cruises, we investigate your lake and engage passengers in activities that raise their awareness, increase their appreciation and deepen their knowledge of how lakes work. We supply the boat, the science equipment and the expertise.

Program Benefits

  • Involves children and adults in shared learning
  • Provides a tangible benefit for your lake association members
  • Is an effective membership recruitment tool for your lake association
  • Motivates your members to be more involved with your organization as their understanding and appreciation of lake issues increases
  • Can be used as a fundraising tool for your organization
  • Helps add to, or jump-start, your educational initiatives with a proven curriculum and expertise

Scientific Equipment Provided

  • Secchi Disk: measures water clarity
  • Aqua-Scope: monitors water clarity
  • Plankton Tow: collects zooplankton
  • Ken-a-Vision: Flat-screen monitor shows magnified images of microscopic organisms in the lake
  • Benthic Dredge: collects samples from the lake bottom
  • Water Column Sampler: takes water samples from various depths
  • Dissolved Oxygen Probe: compares oxygen levels at different depths
  • ROV: Remote Operated Vehicle, with an underwater camera

Tips for Planning Your Organization’s Boat Trip

  • Budget 2 hours per trip, with 2 trips per day
  • Budget 1.5 hours per trip for up to 3 trips per day
  • Plan for 15-20 minutes between programs for staff to reorganize gear
  • Plan on 12-13 passengers per trip (15 total including 2 Maine Lakes staff members)
  • Create a schedule to accommodate the number of trips your organization requires
  • Create a sign-up/passenger list so participants know the time of their departure and return

Special Considerations

  • Personal Flotation Devices (PDFs) ranging from small adult to extra-large adult are provided. Small children should bring their own PFDs to ensure proper fit.
  • The combined length of our boat trailer and tow vehicle is approximately 52 feet. We prefer to launch from boat ramps designed by the State of Maine.
    If a boat ramp has not been designed by the State, our staff must make a visual confirmation that the ram can be used by our boat and trailer.
  • If you are planning a multiple-day event on the same lake, it is extremely helpful if you can find a willing person to dock the boat overnight.

Current Program Pricing
$800 for one day or $1,200 for two days.

If your organization is able to find a volunteer to house our staff overnight, we can deduct $200 from the price, making the cost for two days just $1,000. Past lake association clients have paid from existing funds, sought contributions from local businesses and/or other supporters, or charged a per-person rate. In fact, some organizations have made money from our visit!

If you have further questions, please contact our office at 207-495-2301. To make a reservation, call Rob Jones at 362-5685.

To View a Video Program Overview – Click Here