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Are You Lake Smart?

posted Feb 24, 2017, 8:56 AM by Joseph Bickard

February 13, 2017 - Naples-LakeSmart is a free non-regulatory program in which waterfront landowners ask for a property assessment of how their land is affecting the lake and downstream water quality. The evaluation includes a thorough review of the developed portions of the property, the quality and extent of vegetation, stormwater patterns and wastewater disposal. The appraisal is done by a team of trained volunteers and a final written report is reviewed by LEA staff and provided to the property owner. 

The process is designed to fully involve the landowner in the evaluation so the experience is both instructive and educational. The purpose, of course, is to make each property more lake-friendly by promoting best practices for eliminating runoff into the lake.

If a property is particularly lake-friendly, it qualifies for a LakeSmart Award. Two signs are provided to confirm the owner is “living lightly on the land for the sake of the lake.” Display of these signs on the shore and at the end of a driveway publicizes the program and encourages lake-friendly practices for others.

LakeSmart was originally developed at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection with input from LEA and was based partially on our Clean Lake Check-Up Program. After it was defunded several years ago, the Maine Lakes Society took on the program to ensure its continuation on a statewide scale. Because of its popularity, particularly on lakes with active associations, LEA teamed up with the Society to expand the program. In our area, a team of LakeSmart volunteers actively promotes LakeSmart on Highland Lake and Woods Pond. They also evaluate properties on other area lakes by request. In the first year with LEA, the volunteers completed 20 property assessments and 15 families or individuals received awards. 

LEA is very excited about this new program and the potential it has to reach out to lakefront property owners. If you are interested in LakeSmart or having your property evaluated, please email LEA’s Colin Holme at colin@leamaine.org.

Colin HOlme, LEA Lake News, Winter 2017