Our History


Championing Freshwater Resilience From The Start

Throughout its history, as its first tagline Look to the Land for Your Lake’s Sake attests, the Maine Lakes Society has concentrated on strengthening the capacity of lake ecosystems to resist destabilizing threats. Formed as a non-profit, charitable membership organization named the Congress of Lake Associations in 1970, the Society has since then catalyzed and supported the state’s grassroots lake associations, provided science-based lake and watershed information to the public, to lake users, activists and government decision-makers, and advocated strenuously for science-based stewardship through wise land use.

Responding to Today’s Challenges Today

As the only statewide membership organization devoted solely to lakes, the Society and its 120 partner lake associations form a nucleus of lake conservation activity. Aware of the impact of climate change and recent severe cuts in state funding for conservation, the Society recently stepped up its profile by adopting a broader membership model, embarking on a fundraising campaign to recruit new members, expanding LakeSmart, a first-in-the-nation lake resilience program, and building on its youth education activity with the publication of the Lake Book handbook and its innovative experiential Lakes Alive! middle and high school program.