Maine Lakes at Risk from LePage Administration
The Natural Resources Council of Maine produced an investigative report documenting damage caused to the State of Maine’s lake protection efforts under the Administration of Governor LePage.
Although Maine’s lakes are among our state’s most valuable natural resources, our report finds that the LePage Administration and current Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) leadership have put our lakes at increased risk by cutting DEP lake protection staff and resources, terminating education and technical assistance, purging DEP’s website of valuable public documents, disrupting the work of DEP scientific and technical staff members, and failing to enforce a Maine law that helps protect lake water quality.
The decline in DEP’s lake protection programs comes at a time when the water quality of Maine lakes appears to be deteriorating. New research from the University of Maine shows that the clarity of Maine’s lakes has worsened since 1995. If this trend continues, the impact could be severe for Maine’s economy. Studies show that Maine’s lakes generate at least $3.5 billion in economic activity annually and help sustain 52,000 jobs.