Water Quality Milfoil Conservation Corps Water Quality Technical Info
BRCA Watershed Protection
The Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance (BRCA) is dedicated to conserving the lands, water quality, and natural heritage of the Belgrade Lakes Watershed. Founded in 1988, this grassroots group has grown into a combined land trust and lake trust with over 1200 members, dedicated to protecting the watershed through land conservation, watershed management and protection, education and outreach, and implementation of conservation projects. The BRCA works with area lake associations, state and town governments and agencies, other conservation groups, and private landowners to preserve the area’s natural resources and maintain public access for low-impact recreational activities like hiking, fishing, hunting, canoeing, and cross-country skiing.
Our Lake Trust is a strategic alliance of the five lake associations in the Belgrade Lakes Watershed and oversees the Milfoil Program, which administers the courtesy boat inspection program that inspected over 10,000 boats the summer of 2009 at seven public boat ramps to prevent the spread of invasive plants. The Lake Trust also includes the BRCA Youth Conservation Corps that has completed over 1,000 erosion control projects in the past 20 years and the Watershed program that has performed water quality surveys of all the seven of the Belgrade Lakes. The Watershed program has worked with the Maine DEP and the Kennebec County Soil and Water Conservation District to develop and implement watershed-based plans to improve water quality.
The BRCA Education and Outreach Committee develops programs designed to highlight the linkages between the land use and water quality. Programs include public lectures, guided hikes, canoe trips, nature walks, bird watching trips, etc.
The BRCA Lake Trust has three objectives: improve and maintain water quality in the lakes of the Belgrade Watershed, build the capacity of lake associations; and create public support and funding for water quality restoration and stewardship of the lakes.
The Belgrade Lakes Watershed faces threats from accelerating development pressure, invasive species, erosion, and other damage caused by overuse. Once opportunities to protect our lakes and lands are gone they can not be reclaimed, but by joining the BRCA you can help seize conservation opportunities and meet these challenges.
Goals identified by the Lake Trust to date include, but are not limited to:
- Water quality restoration: continue traditional Nonpoint source abatement efforts through the 319 grant program; vigorously pursue additional funding avenues for remediation beyond limited 319 funding; strengthen local enforcement of resource protection laws, provide leadership, supervision and support for current and future watershed research as well as the Conservation Corps and Milfoil Committee programs; update the 1998-2001 watershed survey data and create a watershed management plan; assist lake associations with outreach and education to road associations within their subwatersheds.
- Building lake association capacity by providing technical and human resources to lake associations. This includes but is not limited to providing program leadership for membership drives, fundraising events, and other major outreach efforts; strengthening the identity and branding of the individual lake associations; providing newsletter assistance (templates, articles, printing, etc.); assisting with website design and upkeep; and other services defined by participating groups.
- Creating public support and funding for water quality protection: host an annual fundraising events GOLF TOURNAMENT with a target of $50,000 +; secure funding for strategic planning in partnership with the BRCA and Land Trust; create a watershed working group comprising businesses, officials, water quality professionals and stakeholders to access private, federal, state and regional resources for water quality remediation in the Belgrades; and extend lake benefits and engage watershed residents in lake activities and stewardship.