2007 Progress Report: 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 Period Covered by this Report: May 1, 2007 through May 1,2008
Project Amount: $299,249
RFA: Collaborative Science And Technology Network For Sustainability (2006) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Sustainability


Four objectives have been established to support sustainable lake management:
(1) to create baseline 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.

Progress Summary:

Work Progress
Considerable time and effort have been devoted to baseline data collection describing residential development and lake characteristics. Residential development data organized include NLCD land cover data, U.S. Census of Population and Housing data, and U.S. Census building permit data. Lake characteristics data collection efforts have integrated state databases describing water quality, morphology, fish inventory, lake management activities, public infrastructure, and public access.
An initial spatial economic model of residential development was developed and estimated using the NLCD land cover data from 1992 and 2001 to describe change in levels and patterns of development. The results of this model were combined with a preliminary model of water quality, facilitating forecasts of land cover and water quality.
Literature reviews were initiated to collect and organize relevant studies linking changes in residential development to changes in water quality, the likelihood of invasive plant and invasive fish introductions, and recreational use.
Eleven lakes were selected to serve as the focus of the pilot studies.
Meetings were held with relevant stakeholders (Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Maine Department of Conservation, Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program) to acquire data, seek input, and acquire feedback on proposed research.
Difficulties Encountered
Challenges have arisen in trying to use the NLCD land cover data (1992, 2001, and Change Retrofit) to describe residential development change in Maine. Initial modeling and subsequent validation efforts have produced numerous questions about the appropriateness of these data to capture changing patterns in residential development. Alternative data sources are being considered.
Personnel Change
Dr. Katherine Webster has left the University of Maine. She will no longer be acting as a co‐investigator.
Dr. Webster will, however, continue to play a supportive role. Dr. Peter Vaux will take on additional
responsibilities and additional faculty support at the University of Maine (Dr. Aram Calhoun and Dr. Cynthia
Loftin) will be sought, where necessary, to compensate for this change in project staff.

Future Activities:

Initiate pilot studies. Organize meetings with relevant local stakeholders and conduct field research to gather additional data for the 11 pilot lakes.
Complete baseline database and baseline analysis of great ponds.
Complete literature reviews of relevant research on residential development and lake characteristics modeling. Begin statewide lake characteristic modeling and refine residential development modeling.
Expand network of partners statewide and within the pilot communities.
Collaborate with the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program to collect additional data on residential development and recreational use.

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 44 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, Sustainable Environment, Energy, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Monitoring, green design, sustainable water use, environmental sustainability, ecological design, community based, alternative infrastructure design, energy efficiency, sustainable urban environment, environmental education

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2008 Progress Report
  • 2009 Progress Report
  • 2010 Progress Report
  • Final Report