Abstract or Description

Lakefront properties are greatly valued by home customers today. Unfortunately, many homeowners value clear views of the lake, and as a consequence, remove all natural barriers (i.e. trees, shrubs, etc.) from the lakeshore, which leads to a decrease in water quality (Schindler 1974).

In the Belgrade Lakes watershed in Maine, people have recognized that human intervention has led to a reduction in water quality in their lakes. Because of this, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), introduced a program called LakeSmart in 2003 to incentivize homeowners to keep lake water clean in the Belgrade Lakes by stabilizing eroded areas, reducing topical ground chemical use, diverting rainwater into vegetated areas, and maintaining a natural buffer along the shoreline (Figure 1, LakeSmart 2013). Currently, this program is only active on Great Pond and Long Pond. In order to qualify for LakeSmart certification, property owners must score a 67% or higher in the following four categories: road, driveway and parking areas; structures and septic systems; lawn, recreation areas, and footpaths; shorefront and beach. If a property owner meets the requirements in each category, they are given an award certificate and a LakeSmart sign to put on their property.

The current hope of the Maine DEP is to increase the number of LakeSmart certified properties to 15% because social-marketing theory suggests that once 15% of a community has engaged in a new behavior, it becomes self-sustaining (LakeSmart 2013). When the majority of the community is involved, water quality will improve.

The purpose of this research project was to analyze current LakeSmart certified properties in the Belgrade Lakes to explore connections based on several characteristics of these properties, including: tenant seasonality, years owned, and the final result of the evaluation (commendation, recommendation, or award).


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