Community-based monitoring of Maine’s lakes by trained and certified volunteers is a vital part of ensuring the continued stewardship for future generations. Monitoring is carried out in order to better understand and assess the risks to ecological and human health. LSM has over 500 trained and certified volunteers who collect objective and repeatable scientific data on water quality parameters. The majority of monitoring activities are composed of Secchi disc transparency readings, dissolved oxygen and thermal profiles, and the collection of water samples — primarily taken for laboratory analysis of total phosphorus.
In addition, LSM works in the area of water quality with both community members and professional organizations to monitor alum treatments, cyanobacteria blooms (HABs), Gleotrichia sp. abundances, metaphyton algae distributions, lake ice coverage, and use our data to assist the calibration of LandSat satellites’ remote sensing capabilities.
A link to the certification process and more information about all of these programs is available below. Water quality data is available in a near-real time format (not reviewed for errors) or in a reviewed, quality-assured format on our Lakes of Maine webpage. General lake data can be found here.