Please note that Lakes Alive! will be taking a break this summer for COVID-19.
Check back later about our plans for 2021.

The Maine Lakes hosts Lakes Alive! programming aboard our 30′ pontoon boat the Melinda Ann. Programming is available to community groups, lake associations, summer camps and other organizations who want to engage 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 members
  • Provides a membership recruitment tool for your organization
  • Motivates your members to learn more about your lake, and become more involved with your organization as their understanding and appreciation of lake issues increases
  • Provides an opportunity to raise funds for your organization
  • Add to, or jump-start, your educational initiatives with a proven curriculum and expertise
  • Scientific Equipment is provided along with expertise in how to deploy
    • Secchi Disk & Aqua-Scope: measures 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 for 2 trips in a day
  • Budget 1.5 hours per trip for up to 3 trips in a 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 (PFDs) 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 Suburban is approximately 52 feet. Therefore, 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.

Program Pricing for 2020:

Maine Lakes Member Organizations:
$900 for one day and $1,500 for two days (with $200 discount if overnight accommodations provided)

Non-Member Organizations:
$1200 for one day and $1,800 for two days (with $200 discount if overnight accommodations provided)

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 $1200. 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! We hope that this summary has convinced you of the benefits a visit from the Melinda Ann can bring to your lake.

If you have further questions or to inquire about booking a Lakes Alive! program, please contact us.

Check out Lakes Alive! in action by watching these videos of our captain and lake educator at work, having a blast.


Lakes Alive! Overview:

If you’re thinking about booking a Lakes Alive! program but want more information about what is involved, read this short overview. Also a good document to share with your board or potential funders.

Lakes Alive! Welcome Letter:

If you’ve signed up for a program, here is additional information to share with your attendees.

Sailor’s Log

Used for school programming aboard the Melinda Ann.

Parent Information & Permission Slip:

For parents of all students attending Lakes Alive! programming to sign prior to boarding the Melinda Ann.

Lakes Alive! Safety Protocol:

Our safety protocol to be signed by Lakes Alive! attendees.