Stories of Watershed Impact | 2023

May 2024

Like you, we are lake lovers. It’s why we live here. These natural treasures are a core part of our lives. We would be heartbroken if they were lost.

There is an urgent need to protect these beloved places. Our lakes and ponds are fragile, and threats from climate change, invasive species, and development are putting them at greater risk. Since 2020, two new invasive aquatic plant infestations have been discovered in our watershed. Two out of the past three summers, one of these lakes suffered severe, potentially toxic algal blooms. Last year, two devastating storm events washed alarming amounts of runoff, polluted with sediment and phosphorus, into our lakes, harming water quality.

The challenges are big, but the situation is not hopeless, if we act NOW, before it’s too late. This is why 30 Mile has been aggressively fighting the milfoil on Androscoggin, and working to prevent the spread of swollen bladderwort from Tilton Pond. It is why we are increasing our focus to support towns in tackling the enormous challenge of building roads that can withstand these new, much larger, storm events, without harming our lakes. And it is why we are creating a new center for lake protection in our watershed. Our lakes community needs this space to learn and work together for this shared purpose. It has never been more important.

We are so grateful for your support and look forward to working with you in the year ahead!

With appreciation,

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30 Mile Taking Action

Our programs promote long-term, sustainable change. We directly protect and closely monitor lake health, assess land use impacts, and provide educational and recreational opportunities that foster stewardship.

Our first line of defense

Our paid staff and 11 volunteer Courtesy Boat Inspectors conducted 2,584 inspections from May to October on…read more

Taking action at the state level

An important part of the work we do at 30 Mile is advocating for lake-related legislation to our state leaders…read more

What can you do to prevent the spread of invasives?

  • Always remove plants from your boat, trailer and gear.
    Clean. Drain. Dry.
  • Educate yourself. Tell your friends and neighbors about the threat.
  • Volunteer as a boat inspector or invasive plant patroller.
  • Report suspicious plants to your lake association or 30 Mile.

Bathymetric mapping underway

We launched a new project to create bathymetric maps for each lake and pond in the watershed…read more

How can you protect water quality?

BE LAKESMART and learn about practices that you can implement on your property.

END EROSION that feeds algae in the lake.

BUILD A BETTER BUFFER, the last line of defense against polluted runoff!

Boy Scout Island restoration

After decades of heavy use, Boy Scout Island on Flying Pond had degraded greatly. Last summer, a collaboration with…read more

Catching invasives early

Over 90 volunteers across nine different lakes and ponds throughout the watershed completed surveys for invasive…read more

How to help protect our waters from invasive plants and animals?

CLEAN plant debris, mud and algae from all boating and fishing gear and dispose in trash.

DRAIN live well, bilge water, and engine water away from waterbody.

DRY any gear that comes into contact with water.

8th season monitoring lake health

Our staff and certified volunteer monitors completed a full season of monitoring on 13 lakes and ponds…read more

Pocasset watershed survey complete

In September, we completed the Pocasset Lake Watershed Survey. Fourteen trained volunteers and six technical leaders…read more

Septic System Vulnerability Study & Permit Database Project

Thanks in part to a grant from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, we are leading a new project to assess the impact of septic systems within our watershed, and provide our partner towns with a town-wide septic system database and tool for septic permit and maintenance tracking. Project findings and an interactive septic risk map will be available on our website in spring 2024.

14th Annual Paddle Trek a success!

On Saturday, July 29th, we held our 14th Annual Paddle Trek. This event was one of our biggest, with 65 participants…read more

Managing invasive milfoil in Androscoggin

Since it was first found in 2020, we have fought the infestation of invasive…read more

Invasive bladderwort in Tilton Pond

In August 2023, a new invasive plant, swollen bladderwort, was found in Tilton Pond at the top of the watershed…read more

Studying and addressing algal blooms

In 2023, Androscoggin Lake suffered its second lake-wide algal bloom within three years. In response to these blooms…read more

Being LakeSmart in the watershed

LakeSmart is a statewide education and reward program that helps lakefront homeowners manage their properties…read more

YCC protecting water quality in the watershed

Our Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) completed 11 conservation projects…read more

1st Place Photo Contest Winners

Visit our photo contest page to see all the 2023 winners and learn how to participate this summer! Photo by Grant Regan-Loomis.

How can you make a difference?

for 30 Mile at your local town and lake association meetings.

your time and talents.

in a future with healthy lakes by making a donation to 30 Mile today.

Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Looking Forward

Responding to climate change threats

A changing climate with warmer temperatures and bigger storms makes our work even more important. In 2023, two historic rain events each delivered more than 5” of rain in under 24 hours. This resulted in massive road washouts causing severe damage to road infrastructure, unprecedented repair costs for our towns, and an enormous amount of pollution to our lakes. Our lakes are showing signs of stress from these events, and we have documented declining water quality.

Our towns are in great need of our technical expertise to tackle these challenges and navigate the process of making costly, but critical upgrades. In 2024, we will increase our focus on this work, providing towns with services including grant and project management, project design, road planning, permitting, site evaluation, and grant proposal writing.

Photos: Vienna’s roads were severely impacted by the May and December storms. (1) A massive washout on the Trask Rd. after floodwaters over-topped an undersized culvert. (2) An overwhelmed culvert on Tower Rd.

A new home for 30 Mile in 2024!

In late 2022, we purchased a building to become the watershed’s new center for lake protection. By revitalizing an abandoned building in the heart of Mount Vernon Village, we will create a new space for the community to work together to protect our beloved lakes and ponds. The center will house a large community meeting room, educational exhibits, a water quality lab, an equipment and tool library, and 30 Mile’s headquarters. Phase I. construction, which will include both floors of the barn, will begin in spring 2024. We plan to move our full operation there in the summer of 2024.

For updates on our progress, join our monthly e-newsletter list: 

A Community Effort

It takes a whole community to protect our watershed.

Thank you to our 2023 Volunteers!

Volunteers are a vital part of 30 Mile’s team, generously contributing thousands of hours to make this work possible. You fill key roles across all areas of our work, including boat inspections, water quality monitoring, LakeSmart evaluations, invasive plant surveys, watershed surveys, office support, our Board of Directors, and more.


Volunteer hours

Thank you to our donors!

It takes a whole community to protect our watershed.

Thank you to ALL of the generous lake lovers who supported 30 Mile in 2023! Your gifts of all sizes demonstrate your commitment to the lakes, ponds, and streams in our watershed. We are grateful for you and the many ways you show up as a community to help care for these precious waters.

individuals and businesses contributed $156,869 in 2023, across 15 lakes and ponds

Save Androscoggin Campaign (2022-23)

Additionally, we continued to partner with the Androscoggin Lake Improvement Corporation (ALIC) to raise $164,135 to fight the invasive milfoil and to study and address the causes of the algal blooms. We exceeded our $150,000 campaign goal!

2023 Financial Report

Program Expenses by Program

Photo Credit: Karen Kurkjian (Banner)