The LakeSmart Program is a state-wide volunteer effort to provide lakefront owners with ideas about how they can protect the lake resources in Maine. Here in China, Maine, we are fortunate to have an experienced Youth Conservation Corps Program (the YCC) that provides the labor to help homeowners enhance their properties and protect the lake at the same time. To complete the Environmental work performed by the YCC for the China LakeSmart Program involves a cost sharing expense with the property owner.
For many years, the Kennebec Water District has supported the China LakeSmart effort and the work of the YCC with their generous financial contributions. In addition, since the early 1900s the Kennebec Water District has owned most of the Shoreland buffer zone in the West Basin of China Lake. When you go boating in the West Basin what you will see all around you is a very-well established forest in its natural state.
So why are trees so important in the Shoreland buffer area of a lake? The shade from trees keeps the shoreline water cool, encouraging habitat for aquatic fish species. On the shore, the root systems of trees trap polluted stormwater runoff and helps protect water quality. Trees also create a canopy that will catch heavy rain and slow it down before it pounds onto the ground, releasing sediments that could flow to the lake. It is estimated that up to 90 percent of living things in a lake are found along a healthy shoreline. Finally, since trees play a vital role in the Shoreland buffer zone, it is encouraged for lakefront owners to plant a few trees at the shoreline to protect the lake.
If you have lakefront property on China Lake, please contact your LakeSmart volunteers at ChinaLakeSmart@gmail.com for your free visit and LakeSmart evaluation. It takes about an hour. China LakeSmart’s trained volunteers will be able to provide you with information and ideas on how to help protect our lake from the effects of storm water runoff while offering plantings intended to enhance the aesthetics of your property.
Based on its track record on protecting China Lake by preserving its Shoreland buffer, the China LakeSmart Program is pleased to present the Kennebec Water District with its distinguished LakeSmart Award. Congratulations Kennebec Water District for a job well done!
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