Lake Stewards of Maine (LSM) works to protect Maine lakes and to promote lake stewardship through widespread citizen participation in the gathering and dissemination of credible scientific information pertaining to lake health.
Lake Stewards of Maine (LSM) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to the collection of information pertaining to lake water quality. For over 50 years, trained volunteers throughout Maine have donated their time so that we may all learn more about one of Maine’s most beautiful and important resources — our lakes.
LSM trains, certifies, and provides technical support to hundreds of volunteers every year. These volunteers monitor a wide range of indicators for water quality, assess watershed health and function, and screen lakes for invasive aquatic plants and animals. LSM through our robust community science network is the primary source of lake data in the State of Maine. LSM volunteers benefit their local lakes and broader by playing key stewardship and leadership roles.
You can also check out this brief video about the organization.
HistoryFormed in 1971, Lake Stewards of Maine (LSM) is the longest-standing state-wide citizen lake monitoring program in the U.S. Originally formed through the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, LSM was known as the Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program and performed water quality monitoring and watershed health assessments. In 1993, due to budget constraints, the program began the process of incorporation as a non-profit entity. In 1996 the program was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) under the direction of Scott Williams. In 2002, the program expanded to include an aquatic invasive species monitoring program.
Lake Stewards of Maine (LSM) has more than 1,200 active volunteers monitoring more than 525 lakes statewide.
Many of our volunteers have continuously monitored the health of their lake for a quarter century, or more. LSM has been nationally recognized for efficiency and effectiveness in training and supporting citizen lake monitors. Much of what is known about Maine’s lakes and ponds is the result of years of dedicated effort by our network of volunteers. The volunteers’ work is an effective tool for fostering lake stewardship by raising community awareness about the connection between lakes and their watersheds, and has save communities hundreds of thousands of dollars through the preventative actions and early warning monitoring they perform.
Lake Stewards of Maine (LSM) is the primary provider of lake data for the State of Maine.The essential responsibilities of LSM are to train volunteers to collect high-quality data, ensure the quality assurance of that data, and host that data for people to access.
In order to collect as much data relevant to Maine’s lakes as possible, LSM partners closely with many institutions and provides data gathered directly to these partners and to the general public through the Lakes of Maine website.
Organizations we work with include:
- Maine Department of Environmental Protection;
- US Environmental Protection Agency;
- University of Maine System;
- US Geologic Service;
- Bates College;
- Lake and watershed associations;
- Soil and Water Conservation Districts;
- Land trusts;
- Education institutions and research agencies;
- Colby College;
- Cyano Monitoring Collaborative;
- Property managers and real estate agencies;
- Towns throughout Maine; and,
- Other Non-Governmental Organizations.