Buffet Breakfast: 7:30-8:00 am
Program: 8:00-9:00 am
Join MEREDA for breakfast on February 10 from 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM for a thought provoking conversation and learn about trends in Maine lake health, new cross-sector initiatives to protect our lakes, and how a program called LakeSmart can help communities safeguard their freshwater resources.
Maine lakes are not only beautiful, they are a surprisingly powerful economic engine -- generating more than $3.5 billion in annual spending, providing more jobs than any single Maine employer, fueling countless local businesses, supplying drinking water to half our residents, and contributing to the municipal tax revenues that fund essential services in many Maine towns. Our clean, clear lakes support a cornucopia of goods, from limitless four-season recreation to vital wildlife habitat, aesthetic enjoyment, and a quality of life most other states can only envy.
We have long depended on them, but our lakes are not immune from the serious water quality problems plaguing people around the world today. Here at home we have seen nuisance algal blooms and murky depths on some lakes ruin the fun for everyone, and we’ve learned that it’s both costly and very difficult to undo this kind of damage.
The good news is that we have in hand a proven way to help prevent these dreaded outcomes on developed lakes: it’s a program called LakeSmart. Under the direction of the Maine Lakes Society, LakeSmart’s non-regulatory, user-friendly approach delivers individually designed, site-specific landscaping recommendations to lakefront property owners to keep lake waters clean and healthy. In this way, it enables lake communities to take the future of lakes into their own hands. Maine businesses, most particularly the realtors, developers, landscapers and nurserymen who deal with homeowners and their plans everyday, have a big role to play in this groundbreaking effort.
Meet our panelists:
For ten years leading up to June, 2015, Maggie Shannon served as Executive Director of the Maine Lakes
Society (formerly Maine Congress of Lake Associations). In this role, she led lake protection advocacy by
providing science-based information to decision-makers on water quality matters, adapted Maine Department
of Environmental Protectionís LakeSmart Program to the needs and capacities of lake associations and helped
facilitate the merger of the Maine Lakes Conservancy Institute with the Society. Maggie currently serves on the boards of the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance and Belgrade Lakes Association. She currently
focuses her attention on advocacy and the expansion of LakeSmart.
Gail Rizzo has been licensed to sell real estate in Maine since 1988 and is presently a Designated Broker with Lakepoint Real Estate in Belgrade, Maine, where she concentrates on the waterfront second home market. She is a Certified Residential Specialist, a Senior Real Estate Specialist and an Accredited Buyers Representative. Currently she serves as the Political Coordinator from the State of Maine to Senator Susan Collins for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and has in the past served on several state and national committees for NAR. As President of the 600-member Belgrade Lakes Association from 2012 through June, 2015, Gail oversaw the successful implementation of the LakeSmart Program on Great and Long Ponds.