LAKES ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATION

Protecting Maine Lakes since 1970

aka LEA   |   Bridgton, ME   |  www.mainelakes.org

Mission

The mission of the Lakes Environmental Association is to preserve and restore the exceptional water quality of Maine's lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, and wetlands and the integrity of their watersheds.

Ruling year info

1971

Executive Director

Mr. Colin Holme

Main address

230 Main Street

Bridgton, ME 04009 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

23-7120682

NTEE code info

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Science, General (includes Interdisciplinary Scientific Activities) (U20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Since 1970 the Lakes Environmental Association has worked to assess and address threats to the water quality of Maine lakes and watersheds. LEA works to understand the factors that lead to decline in lake water quality, and to educate the public, students, landowners, business owners, and municipal officials about best practices in land management to preserve healthy Maine waters and watersheds. Developing and working with resilient communities that realize the importance of lake ecosystem values is essential for enacting long-term and meaningful policies to address the cumulative impacts of watershed development and emerging issues like climate change that affect all Maine people.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Water testing

LEA provides comprehensive water testing for 41 lakes and ponds in Western Maine.

LEA’s water monitoring program began in the 1970s and has expanded to cover all the lakes and ponds within six towns in western Maine. The program follows or exceeds the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s water testing methodology and has been used by other organizations as a model. The program uses college interns overseen by year-round staff to collect data, which is analyzed and reported back to landowners and municipal officials on an annual basis. The program receives strong support from the surrounding towns, and each town in LEA’s service area provides financial support directly towards water testing expenditures.

Population(s) Served
Adults

LEA provides watershed education for about 1000 students in Denmark, Bridgton, Naples, Sebago, Harrison and Waterford and environmental education programs for both adults and children.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The LEA is proud to have one of the most successful invasive aquatic plant programs in Maine. LEA's team has been battling variable leaf milfoil in the Sebago Lakes Region for over a decade and has recently brought the infestations in the Songo River and Brandy Pond under control. The team is now working on eradicating variable leaf milfoil in the larger Sebago Lake, maintaining the clean waters of the Songo River and Brandy Pond, and preventing the spread of invasive plants in the surrounding area. LEA also coordinates Courtesy Boat Inspections throughout the state that prevent aquatic plants from entering our waters.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Two researchers conduct algae studies, develop new research projects, and operate remote-sensing buoys. Our priority research program is lake-focused sustainability science.

LEA has become a leader in the state of Maine on collecting, analyzing, and reporting on high intensity water monitoring. LEA currently operates two fully functional, automated water quality monitoring buoys that report live data via a cellular signal every 15 minutes. In the summer months, data is graphed and interpreted live on LEA’s website: www.mainelakes.org. The high resolution data that these buoys acquire is used to better understand the individual lakes where these buoys are located as well as similar lakes systems in the area in real time.

LEA also has over a dozen in-lake strings of temperature sensors which document lake stratification (layers) throughout the growing season. This information pairs nicely with the live data provided by the larger buoys for a more holistic assessment of water quality. LEA is one of few organizations in the state collecting and identifying algae samples. This information is key to the long-term understanding of lakes and ponds. LEA’s advanced testing and research program receives strong support from individual lake associations who help provide funding annually to implement these programs and report the findings back to members.

Population(s) Served
Adults

LEA provides year-round assistance to landowners and municipalities on water quality and natural resource related issues.

LEA runs two free programs for landowners to help them better understand land uses that may impact water quality and the regulations that pertain to waterfront property. LEA’s Clean Lake Check Up Program has been in place for more than 25 years and over one thousand consultations have occurred to date. In 2016, LEA adopted the LakeSmart program, which is an incentive-based consultation and award program to encourage land and lake stewardship. Both these non-regulatory programs are designed to provide landowners with simple conservation practices that help protect water quality and lower property maintenance costs. LEA also routinely works with local code officers and area planning boards to review new projects for potential impacts on nearby waterbodies and provides natural resource bases mapping services to the surrounding towns free of charge.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Maintaining and even improving the quality of Maine's freshwater resources is our goal. We are developing science and broad-ranging collaborations to accomplish this. Part of the work involves enhancing outdoor experiences and opportunities, especially for children and all students. They are the stewards of the future and they must have access to natural resources in order to appreciate and advocate for them.

We must develop the scientific basis for understanding water quality and use that to create new standards and practices. LEA believes in partnerships and the shared benefits of clean and healthy natural resources. We seek to involve diverse interest groups and work to define mutual interests and opportunities.

Our staff resources and relationships are paramount and we are rich in both. But we also enjoy spectacular preserves and trail systems built over decades along with two remarkable facilities: the Maine Lake Science Center and our Bridgton lake center headquarters. LEA's water testing program is our flagship operation, involving hi-tech remote sensing buoys, extensive lab and field equipment, and a host of staff, interns and volunteers.

We have launched the essential initiatives and have built infrastructure, support, scientific basis and partnerships. We have yet to see the full potential of this holistic effort which we expect will have significant benefits for Maine's natural resources and all those who enjoy and rely on them.

Financials

LAKES ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATION
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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LAKES ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATION

Board of directors
as of 9/1/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mrs. Lydia Landesberg


Board co-chair

Mrs. Karen Harding

Lori Thomae

No affiliation

Henry Hudson

No affiliation

Anne Butter

No affiliation

Dan Richards

No affiliation

Peter Whitchurch

No affiliation

John Willson

No affiliation

Phyllis Ginzler

Orrin Shane

Frank Howell

Justin Ward

Lydia Landesberg

Charlie Tarbell

Karen Harding

Mark Priola

Len Rudin

Elliot Stanley

Pat Webber

Andrew Black

Dell Foss

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 09/01/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data