Help Protect
Maine Lakes

LSM’s 50th Anniversary

2021 marks a very special milestone for LSM. Fifty years ago, a small group of lake professionals, academics, and other lake conservation-minded visionaries, created a plan for safeguarding the health of Maine’s extraordinary lakes. LSM and the incredible volunteer network we orchestrate are the culmination of that plan. To learn more about the history, some of the many people involved, and where we intend to go, please scroll down through this, our 50th Anniversary page. We will be updating it with new content all year long!

50 Years of Citizen Lake Monitoring – Wow!

LSM was conceived of a little over fifty years ago; it was an ambitious and innovative idea, but also remarkably simple and practical. The clear goal was to develop a program that would help interested citizens become directly involved in the critical process of monitoring Maine lakes. To be effective, the program needed to be accessible and educational, but also scientifically rigorous. It would vastly expand the scientific data related to Maine lakes and freshwater systems. This data is essential for developing and implementing effective conservation laws, policies, and practices. Because it would be established as a grass-roots network of knowledgeable citizens, it could be strong and widespread foundation for the future of Maine lake stewardship. LSM is the product that grew from that idea and since those early days in 1971, LSM has grown and thrived!

Our Mission

The Mission of the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program is to help protect Maine lakes through widespread citizen participation in the gathering and dissemination of credible scientific information pertaining to lake health. The VLMP trains, certifies and provides technical support to hundreds of volunteers who monitor a wide range of indicators of water quality, assess watershed health and function, and screen lakes for invasive aquatic plants and animals. In addition to being the primary source of lake data in the State of Maine, VLMP volunteers benefit their local lakes by playing key stewardship and leadership roles in their communities.


The VLMP is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to the collection of information pertaining to lake water quality. For 40 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.