August 7 – 13, 2021Vol. 23, No. 9

Why Lake Meetings Matter

by Esther J. Perne

Because in Maine lakes beckon from every turn in the road…because lakes sparkle in every view from a mountain…because lakes number over six thousand…because lakes attract hundreds of thousands of users…because lakes are a huge economic driver…because lakes provide work and livelihoods and careers…because lakes belong to and are accessible to every resident of Maine…because lakes provide recreation and inspiration and motivation and love — all these and many more reasons are why meetings about lakes are important.

Smaller, specialized lake-oriented meetings are held constantly, continually, creatively throughout the year, the state, the region. As organized infrastructures such gatherings date back over a century. They have sponsored safety, sociability, credibility, guidelines and fun.

With summer come the larger, more comprehensive programs and agendas — the annual lake association meetings. Issues that affect everyone are identified, topics that promote responsible use of the lakes are presented, problems — and solutions — are spelled out, differences are ironed out and questions are answered.

What is a benthic barrier? A CBI? Alum treatment? A Secchi disk? No-wake speed? A rubber razor blade? Swimmer's itch? Gloeotrichia? What improves water quality? Controls invasive plants? Comprises climate change? Helps maintain the loon population?

Annual meetings are as close as it gets to learning what's going on and as clear as it gets to how the state of the lakes are a choice the residents of the lakes, the watersheds, the communities make.

Numerous studies and projects and undertakings for the protection, preservation and the betterment of lakes have been initiated by lake associations. With the help, advice, resources, staffing, and financing from private, business, community, and government sources and ordinary interested individuals, many of these inquiries and innovations have been pursued, completed, and applied, often successfully, but always with the advantage of enhanced knowledge.

As annual lake association meetings take place over the course of this summer throughout the region and the state and especially over the course of this next week in the Belgrades, there is no need to wonder why they matter.

They matter because in Maine lakes are so important.

Area Lake Associations

Although all five of the lake associations in the Belgrade Lakes have already held their annual meetings, these organizations are active year-round. To learn more about them and their projects, you can visit their websites.