This week, 7 Lakes Alliance celebrates the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Clean Water Act, led by Maine’s own Senator Edmund Muskie. No single law has done more to clean, restore and protect lakes, rivers and streams in Maine and across the nation.
We are grateful for the many people who help keep Maine’s waters clean and healthy. We especially want to share with you these six people associated with our organization who are among the 100 statewide Clean Water champions recently honored by the National Resources Council of Maine:
Roy Bouchard, a founding member of the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance, one of the precursor organizations to 7 Lakes Alliance. Bouchard is a retired Maine Department of Environmental Protection biologist who worked in the department’s lake assessment program. He serves on 7 Lakes’ Stewardship Committee. He and his late wife, Sue Gawler, in 2013 forever protected their 100-acre Belgrade farmstead through a conservation easement, now held by 7 Lakes.
Laura Rose Day, president and CEO of 7 Lakes Alliance. Rose Day has deployed the Clean Water Act as a governmental and public interest attorney. She joined 7 Lakes shortly after the organization’s creation in 2018. Under her watch, 7 Lakes’ water quality program has grown to a 12-month operation with two full-time scientists. The program closely collaborates with Colby College, five lake associations and Maine DEP. She previously served as executive director of the Penobscot River Restoration Trust, a $60 million effort to restore sea-run fish to nearly 2,000 miles of habitat.
Jen Jesperson, owner of Ecological Instincts, an environmental consulting and ecological design firm. Jesperson is a longtime conservation partner in the Belgrade Lakes region, having worked on watershed-based management plans for each of the seven lakes in the watershed. Those plans have helped establish the foundation for significant Clean Water Act grants to 7 Lakes for partnerships to combat erosion into lakes and streams. Jesperson is also a longtime board member of Maine Lakes, a statewide conservation organization.
Pete Kallin, a retired environmental scientist and member of the 7 Lakes board of directors and a former BRCA executive director. Kallin also serves on 7 Lakes’ Land and Stewardship committees, helping conserve lands to, primarily, protect water quality and wetlands. He is a member of the Maine Land Trust Network Steering Committee and has served as president of Maine Lakes, which featured him as a lake champion.
Matt Scott, a retired aquatic biologist who created the Maine Lakes Division and biological program for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in 1970 and founded the Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program, the oldest program of its kind in the United States. He was also a founder and past President of the North American Lake Management Society. Additionally, Scott is a former member and chair of the Maine Board of Environmental Protection with 46 years of service to the State of Maine. He serves on the advisory boards of Maine Lakes and Lake Stewards of Maine.
Maggie Shannon, a founder of the Lake Trust, a strategic alliance of the five lake associations in the Belgrade Lakes watershed. A former board member of the BRCA and the Belgrade Lakes Association (the association for Great Pond and Long Pond), Shannon organized and trained the first courtesy boat inspectors on Great and Long ponds. She was instrumental in the passage of a state law dedicating funding for invasive plant education, prevention and remediation. Along with serving as executive director of the Maine Congress of Lake Associations and Maine Lakes, she is a long-time champion of the LakeSmart program.