LakeSmart designation awarded to two China Lake residents

Bob O’Connor

LakeSmart Award to Bob O’Connor

In 1967 Bob’s father bought five parcels of property on the Lakeview side of China Lake. One of the lots is where Bob now calls home. The original camp was converted to a year around home in 1980. Bob eventually moved his family to the home full time in 1987.

You may know Bob because he has lived in China for a long time. Or, you may know him because since 1990, he has been the coordinator of the China Lake loon count, which is done on the third Saturday of July at the early hour of 7 a.m., rain or shine every year. Volunteers are assigned specific areas of the lake to ensure we count each adult and chick they see. This information is gathered on most lakes in Maine at this very early hour to help monitor the loon population in our state. Because of the initiative, people pay better attention to our loons.

We learned to stay 200 feet away from them. We keep a “no wake” speed within 200 feet of the shore because we don’t want to flood their nests and wash away the eggs! And every fisherman knows that using Leadfree tackle and properly disposing of monofilament lines protects the life of our loons.

What stands out at Bob’s lovely lakefront property is that he seldom mows. He prefers to see the native vegetation which includes flowering plants that attract the pollenating bees. He likes the natural setting. Bob mentioned that the wild plants have deep roots. I would say he is right on.

If you would be interested in having a China LakeSmart volunteer visit your lakefront property to see if you can help protect the lake, please email us at Hope to hear from you!

Cynthia Hart

LakeSmart Award earned by Cynthia Hart

The China Lake Association’s LakeSmart Program recently awarded Cynthia Hart the LakeSmart Award. Her family has owned this lake front property for many years. It consists of a narrow strip of undeveloped land that has a very lake protective natural berm in front of the shoreline. The land slopes towards the lake. The land above the berm consists of undisturbed duff, young and mature trees, and native shrubs.

When we experience heavy rains, the mature trees create a canopy to shield the land from the damaging impact of fast traveling rain. A canopy will reduce soil erosion. Soil has the potential to send phosphorous and pollutants towards the lake. Phosphorus feeds algae and that can cause our lake to turn green.

With the natural berm and strong effective buffers, Cynthia Hart earns the China LakeSmart Award.

Maybe your property is already LakeSmart. Please contact us for a visit and we can find out if you too, can post a LakeSmart Award on your property. People are observational learners. Being a role model helps others to understand what they can do to protect our Lake. We can be reached at


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