Lakes Appreciation MONTH

Governor Mills has proclaimed July
Lakes Appreciation Month in Maine

That’s good news for the large network of local lake associations, regional watershed associations, and statewide organizations that are raising awareness, taking action, and supporting volunteer networks to benefit Maine’s clean and healthy lakes.

Governor Mills has officially proclaimed July to be Lakes Appreciation Month in the state of Maine. The proclamation recognizes the role of the Wabanaki in stewarding the incredible lake resources that are in the area now known as the State of Maine, as well as the immense value these lakes bring to us today, from recreational resources to drinking water sources to habitat for much of Maine’s wildlife. The proclamation also recognizes the recent finding from a study at the University of Maine documenting the value of Maine’s Great Ponds at over $14.1 billion.

Lakes Appreciation Month gives Maine residents and visitors the opportunity to learn more about lake health and ways to be involved with lake protection efforts, such as invasive plant patrols, courtesy boat inspections, water quality monitoring, loon outreach, and much more. A network of  local lake associations, regional watershed organizations, and state-wide nonprofits work together to support volunteer efforts and lake protection programming. The public can see a sample of the different events, trainings and workshops offered during Lakes Appreciation Month.

Anyone who agrees that Maine’s lakes are an invaluable resource that deserves protection can celebrate Lakes Appreciation Month by visiting a favorite lake, getting involved with lake protection programming,  and supporting local lake organizations. For a list of lake organizations and their contact information, visit

Lakes Appreciation Month is also a great opportunity to highlight the incredible work our state’s lake nonprofits and their staff and volunteers do all year round to protect our valuable lake resources. Click HERE to read the full press release.

July lake happenings

A network of lake associations, regional organizations and statewide organizations support volunteers and outreach programming that helps keep Maine's lakes clean and healthy. To celebrate Lakes Appreciation Month, consider joining a lake event, workshop or training taking place in July. For more details about the organizations hosting these events, you can find more information at

Maine Lakes (statewide)

LakeSmart Evaluations: Volunteer evaluators around the state are visiting lakefront  landowners to conduct surveys to identify sources of erosion and make recommendations on ways property owners can reduce runoff.  A visit with an evaluator may be arranged, depending on your location and current LakeSmart evaluator locations. Email FMI. 

Introduction to LakeSmart: There will be a presentation about the LakeSmart program at the Range Ponds Lake Association Annual Meeting in Poland on July 28. Email FMI.

Look Out For Loons: Look Out for Loons is a volunteer effort to raise awareness about nesting loons in order to reduce disturbance and increase nesting success. A few of the events where Look Out For Loons volunteers will be active in July include Pequawket Lake Association Annual Meeting in Limington July 6 and Annabessacook Lake Association Annual Meeting in Winthrop on July 27th. Contact James Reddoch at FMI.

Lake Stewards of Maine (statewide)

Aquatic Invasive Species Workshops: Contact Brett Willard, Aquatic Invasive Species Program Director

Plant Paddle workshops are on-water trainings designed to teach novices how to survey for aquatic invasive plants. Guests are trained on how to use a Quick Key which can rule out if a plant is suspicious of being invasive or not.

July 9 - Rangeley, Rangeley Lake Town Park - 10 am – 1 pm

July 10- Bremen, Webber Pond - Private residence - 10 am – 1 pm

Live Plant ID workshops are indoor classes, which teach volunteers how to identify a large variety of invasive aquatic plants and their native lookalikes. Using live specimens of around 40 plants, guests learn how to use a field guide and Quick Key to both rule out an invasive plant, and determine identities of common native and invasive plants alike.

July 12 – Weld, Weld Town Hall -  1 pm – 4 pm

July 16 – New Gloucester –  First Congregational Church - 9am – 12 pm

July 18 – New Limerick – Town Hall - 1pm – 4 pm

July 19 – Presque Isle - Rec Center- 9 am  - 12 pm

A volunteer survey for invasive plants will happen on Lake Wesserunsett in Madison on Thursday, July 11, beginning at 9 am. 

Water Quality Workshops (New Monitor and Recertification): Contact Tristan Taber, Water Quality Program Director

July 8 - Smith Pond (Penobscot County), late morning

July 11 - Long (Princeton)(Washington County), midmorning

July 12 - Nickerson Lake (Aroostook County), afternoon

July 13 – Cross Lake (Aroostook County), morning

July 16 – Lake Auburn (Androscoggin County), late afternoon

July 23 – Crescent (Rattlesnake) (Cumberland County), late morning

July 25 – Georges Pond (Hancock County, late morning)

Friends of the Cobbosee Watershed (Winthrop)

Youth Conservation Corps: Contact Jay Lindsay, Slow the Flow Technical Advisor and Patrick, YCC Coordinator 

FOCW has projects to install Best Management Practices (conservation practices that reduce erosion and stormwater runoff around the lake) in Winthrop, Monmouth, Readfield and/or Litchfield areas

Plant Survey: Contact Alex Dyer, Director of Conservation and Leah, Plant Survey Coordinator

FOCW has both paid staff and volunteers going out every day Monday through Friday weather permitting. Projects over the next few weeks include surveying for invasive plants in Cobbossee Lake, Cobbossee Stream, Maranacook Lake, and Torsey Pond.

Plant Control -  Alex Dyer, Director of Conservation and Plant Control Coordinator and Em 

The team from FOCW will be going out on Cobbossee Lake to Eurasian Watermilfoil removal a few times a week. The plant control team will also be jumping into Annabessacook Lake a few times this upcoming month to help spot remove Variable Leaf Milfoil. 

One of those Fridays will be a "Frog-bit Friday" where staff and volunteers join forces to help remove populations of invasive European Frog-bit from various locations (Monmouth boat launch, etc.)

They will also have a day in July dedicated to benthic barrier removal in Cobbossee Lake. 

In addition to staff, FOCW hires  milfoil removal contractors who will be back in the watershed the week of July 22nd.

Courtesy Boat Inspectors - Jen Peasnell, Conservation Programs Manager  and Andi, CBI Coordinator 

FOCW covers ten public boat launches in the Winthrop Lakes Region, so can coordinate reporter visits. We had a major recent success where a CBI pulled Curly Leaf Pondweed off a boat trying to enter one of our unnfested waterbodies. 

30 Mile River Watershed Association (Mt. Vernon)

15th Annual Paddle Trek:  Contact Lidie Robbins

This 15-mile guided paddle from Mt. Vernon Village to Wayne Village, traveld along many of the lakes and streams that together form the “30 Mile River.” Beginning on Minnehonk Lake at Mt. Vernon’s Town Beach,  the trip route continues down and through Hopkins Pond, Hopkins Stream, Taylor Pond, Echo Lake and its Mill Pond, Lovejoy Pond, Lovejoy Stream, Pickerel Pond, and Pocasset Lake, ending in Wayne Village’s Mill Pond.. We typically have 65-75 padders and 25 volunteers. 

Water Quality Monitoring: Contact Whitney Baker

Monitoring by canoe or motor boat on several lakes each week. 

Plant Survey/Invasive Plant Removal: Contact Silas Mohlar

Surveying  Wed-Sat most mornings (weather permitting), removal of invasive milfoil by SCUBA diver every couple of weeks. 

Lakes Environmental Association (Bridgton)

July 6th - Paddle Battle, Paddle Board and Kayak Race fundraiser on Highland Lake. Sign up at

July 11th - Moose Pond Paddle - Join LEA education director, Mary Jewett,  for a morning of quiet paddling at Moose Pond from 9-11:30. Bring your own canoe or kayak and PFD. Get up close to aquatic plants such as pickerel weed, bladderwort, lilypads, and more. We’ll also discuss invasive aquatic plants and early detection methods. Registration is required in advance.  

July 15th - Camp Encore/Code classical music benefit concert for LEA.   

July 18th - Gravel Road Maintenance Workshop - This training is intended to be provide a resource for gravel road owners, town officials, contractors, and watershed organizations to better understand methods and practices for evaluating and maintaining gravel roads. 


7 Lakes Alliance (Belgrade Lakes)

A variety of lake and land events will take place in July in the Belgrade Lakes area. Visit FMI or contact Sally FMI.

Friends of Cross Lake (Aroostook County)

FMI, contact Cheryl St. Peter at

  • Biweekly water quality monitoring and sampling will take place the week of July 8th (probably Monday) and the week of July 22nd) but day will be weather dependent.  
  • Lake Stewards of Maine will be at Cross Lake on Saturday, July 13th for water quality monitoring training.
  • Lake Stewards of Maine will be hosting two plant ID workshops. On Thursday July 18th from 1-4 p.m. they’ll be at the Limerick Town Hall (cohosted by Nickerson Lake Wilderness Preservation Inc.). On Friday July 19th from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. they will be at the Sargent Family Community center in Presque Island (cohosted by the Presque Isle Recreation Department).  
  • There may be an opportunity to meet with a contractor who is working on a “living shoreline” restoration project on Cross Lake the week of July 11th, though the specifics (including the start date) are still being worked out.
Megunticook Watershed Association (Camden)

Courtesy Boat Inspectors will be active in July at the three public boat launches: Route 52, Breezemere Park, and Bog Bridge.

Annual Loon Count - five zones including the Megunticook River where loons will counted following the guidelines of Maine Audubon on July 20 at 7:00am. 

Annual Meeting of the Megunticook Watershed Association at Camp Bishopswood July 23rd at 7pm. Guest speaker will talk about Loons. 

Water Quality Testing: There will be on-going water quality testing weekly in July at seven locations around the watershed. 

WHEREAS, lakes and ponds and the uplands that surround and protect them provide recreational opportunities for Maine residents and visitors, including more than 380,000 licensed freshwater anglers and over 112,000 boaters, as well as drinking water valued at $334 million for more than half of all Mainers, and vital habitat for more than 70 percent of our wildlife species; and

WHEREAS, according to a recently released University of Maine study, Maine’s lakes and ponds are the state’s most important natural resource asset, valued at more than $13.3 billion annually with more than $3 billion in related direct and indirect expenditures each year; and

WHEREAS, today's unprecedented climate impacts and growing development pressure are driving rapid and historic changes to the future health of Maine's lakes, requiring greater and more diverse support for lake protection efforts; and

WHEREAS, our lakes and ponds improve the quality of life for all Maine's residents and their importance should be widely recognized; and 

WHEREAS, Maine's more than 6,000 lakes and ponds have been cared for and stewarded by the Wabanaki people for thousands of years, and the State of Maine recognizes the need to continue to protect these lakes and ponds for future generations and continues to actively work on lake protection efforts; 

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that I, Janet T. Mills, Governor of the great State of Maine do hereby proclaim July 2024 as

Lakes Appreciation Month in Maine, and I encourage all citizens to take a moment to appreciate Maine's lakes and ponds that we are so fortunate to enjoy today, and to let us all take the appropriate steps to safeguard the health of our freshwater bodies for future generations of lake stewards so that they may enjoy the same clean, clear waters in the decades to come.

In testimony whereof, I have caused the Great Seal of the State to be hereunto affixed GIVEN under my hand at Augusta this twenty sixth day of June Two Thousand Twenty-Four.

Janet T. Mills Governor
Janet T. Mills Governor
Shenna Bellows, Secretary of State
Shenna Bellows, Secretary of State