Formed in 2016, the partnership brings the expertise of Colby’s world-class environmental studies department to the 7 Lakes Alliance. Colby scientists and students do extensive research on the lakes and educate the public. Colby’s scientists sit on our scientific advisory board. Also, the College has a satellite laboratory at the Resource Center.
Increased scientific research and development of mitigation protocols has extreme value to our watershed and can provide critical guidance to our conservation colleagues throughout Maine and the world. 7 Lakes Alliance, in collaboration with Colby College, has an opportunity to create conservation and water quality guidance that improves both our region and the planet we call home. A minimum of $500,000 is needed to invest in scientific research over the next five years.
Several of our lakes have excess phosphorus resulting in annual algal blooms, which not only diminish quality of life on these lakes but threaten the ecological and economic health of our region. Phosphorus is introduced to our lakes through both natural and man-made sources. Nature has designed our lakes to mitigate naturally occurring phosphorus, but the increased phosphorus introduced by humans has pushed nature past the tipping point. An alum treatment is being conducted in East Pond in 2018 to abate decades of phosphorus contamination and prevent seasonal algal blooms. We must invest in watershed-wide erosion control projects to further limit the introduction of man-made phosphorus and regain balance in our water ecosystems.