Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2016

Publication Title

The Water Column


Maine lakes, water quality, conservation, lake stewardship, citizen participation, Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program, VLMP


Our current project, which includes a partnership between the University of Southern Maine, the University of Maine, the VLMP and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, seeks to assess the vulnerability of Maine lakes to water quality decline. As part of this study, the University of Southern Maine and the VLMP engaged in a survey of lake associations and VLMP monitors across a study sample of twenty four lakes to examine their role in data collection, monitoring, and conservation management vis-à-vis lake stewardship. These data enable us to build a profile of our citizen stewards. Moreover, we are able to elaborate on the factors that influence their involvement in lake protection and conservation activities and detail the elements they consider important for lake stewardship and citizen participation. These data will help us asses the ways in which engaged public involvement influences the long-term success of conservation strategies and provide insights into how more effective, long-lasting partnerships between citizen conservation groups and scientists can be developed.


This article was originally published in The Water Column, a Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program (VLMP) publication. More information can be found at their website:



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