Maine has more than 6,000 lakes, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, and 5,000 miles of coast. Clean, healthy waterways are vital to our day-to-day lives. They help ensure safe drinking water, suitable habitat for fish and other wildlife, and recreational opportunities that make Maine a special place to live, work, play, and visit. The full value of clean water to Maine is incalculable, but here are some economic indicators:
- Maine’s 6,000 lakes generate $3.5 billion for Maine’s economy annually and sustain 52,000 jobs.
- Maine has more coldwater brook trout habitat than the rest of the eastern U.S. combined. These prized waters draw anglers to Maine from around the country.
- Sebago Lake, the drinking water supply for one-in-seven Mainers, has such outstanding water quality that it is one of only six municipal reservoirs in America not required to have its water filtered or treated.
- Maine’s fishing industry, which depends on clean water, brings more than $700 million to Maine’s economy.
In 2019, NRCM and our partners helped pass the Great American Outdoors Act, providing permanent funding for the popular and effective Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The bill, which was championed by every member of Maine’s Congressional delegation, also provided sorely needed funding to invest in maintenance and upkeep of popular national parks and public lands.
Fully funding LCWF will result in much-needed land conservation, public access improvements, local industry support, and the creation of more outdoor spaces that benefit us all and contribute to a vibrant economy. NRCM is urging the Maine Legislature to reinvest in the state’s Land for Maine’s Future program in order to meet the state and local match requirements to use federal LWCF funds.
Maine Brewshed Alliance
The Maine Brewshed® Alliance is a coalition of brewers and the Natural Resources Council of Maine committed to protecting the waterways that make our state a great place to live, work, brew, and enjoy great beer. View a map of participating breweries.
Read news release: Craft Brewers Launch "Maine Brewshed Alliance" to Help Protect Clean Water
Read our blog about the first year’s accomplishments: Happy First Anniversary Maine Brewshed Alliance!
Banner photo: Penobscot River by Pam Wells