Our History

Championing Freshwater Resilience From The Start

As its first tagline attests – Look to the Land for Your Lake’s Sake, 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 Maine Lakes Society has since catalyzed and supported the state’s grassroots lake associations; provided science-based lake and watershed information to the public, 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, MLS 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.