Sustainable Lake Management in Maine’s Changing Landscape

EPA Grant Number: R833344
Title: Sustainable Lake Management in Maine’s Changing Landscape
Investigators: Bell, Kathleen P. , Leahy, Jessica , Sader, Stephen , Vaux, Peter , Webster, Katherine , Wilson, Jeremy
Current Investigators: Bell, Kathleen P. , Leahy, Jessica , Wilson, Jeremy
Institution: University of Maine
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: May 1, 2007 through January 30, 2010 (Extended to December 30, 2011)
Project Amount: $299,249
RFA: Collaborative Science And Technology Network For Sustainability (2006) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Sustainability


The project focuses on the development of sustainable lake management strategies in Maine’s changing landscape. By providing mechanisms to track and anticipate new residential development and to delineate the impacts of such development on lake ecosystems and their service flows, the proposed research advances scientific understanding and fills significant information gaps. By demonstrating how such information and spatial modeling tools may be used to consider alternative futures, the proposed project also allows for proactive, collaborative management strategies to sustain the quality and enjoyment of Maine lakes.


Four objectives have been established to support sustainable lake management:

  1. to create base line spatial databases of residential development and lake characteristics;
  2. to develop a spatial economic model of residential development to determine the role of various factors in influencing the spatial distribution of residential development;
  3. to develop a spatial risk assessment tool to examine the vulnerability of specific lake characteristics to new residential development; and
  4. to create a practical planning tool using modeling-based alternative futures scenarios to support lake management, land-use planning, and economic development decisions.


By combining ecological, economic, silvicultural, recreation, and remote-sensing expertise, a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach is advanced to address the project’s research objectives. By integrating spatial models of residential development with spatial models describing ecological and social lake characteristics, practical planning tools will be designed to assess the impacts of future residential development on the sustainability of Maine lakes. The project’s communication tasks will be enhanced by input from project collaborators and a set of community-based pilot studies.

Expected Results:

The project outputs include baseline GIS databases, spatial modeling tools, an alternative futures tool, and community involvement in lake management. All outputs are designed to support ecologically sensitive land management and development and to sustain water resources to ensure quality and availability for desired uses.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 44 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

land-use change, residential development, lake management, land-use planning, futures analysis, land-use modeling, economics, spatial analysis, GIS, limnology, land conservation, water quality, lake-based recreation, shoreline development, invasive species,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, Sustainable Environment, Energy, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Monitoring, green design, sustainable water use, ecological design, environmental sustainability, alternative infrastructure design, community based, sustainable urban environment, energy efficiency, environmental education

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2007 Progress Report
  • 2008 Progress Report
  • 2009 Progress Report
  • 2010 Progress Report
  • Final Report