DEAR SUN SPOTS: The Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust needs volunteers for its Headwaters Lake Protection Program. The program gives community members the opportunity to join other citizen scientists all over the state and nation who have made a commitment to monitor their preferred water body for clarity, total phosphorus, dissolved oxygen or invasive plants, and regularly record data.

Similar programs exist across the state and are often organized through lake associations. Citizen scientists help expand water resource monitoring, decrease data gaps, and improve the overall understanding of Maine’s water quality. Collection, observation and reporting procedures are designed to be inexpensive, quick and easy to perform, and provide hands-on experience for volunteers. Training, materials and monitoring equipment are provided free of charge.

According to Amanda Laliberte, program manager for RLHT, nearly every water body needs a few more plant patrollers and several ponds that need water quality monitors. Many volunteers have been at this for over a decade and are ready to pass on their skills and passion to the next generation. Community members are relied on to educate themselves on invasive plants, how to protect water quality and on the clean, drain, dry campaign.

Plant patrollers survey the shoreline for invasive plants and their efforts ensure that if there’s an infestation, it can be responded to quickly. In 2018, patrollers surveyed over 90 miles of shoreline. More people are needed on the water, however, who know what to look for and who can help with shoreline gaps. With invasive plants, early detection is the key in eradication.

Ponds such as Dodge have slowly lost their team of patrollers over the years. Rangeley, Mooselookmeguntic and Cupsuptic lakes are also all in desperate need of more volunteers because less than half of their total shoreline is surveyed each year.

High traffic and disturbed areas are priortized for surveying. If you are interested in becoming a plant patroller or learning more about the plants in front of your waterfront property, please contact Janet Bissell, volunteer lake leader, for the region at [email protected] or by calling RLHT at 864-7311.

— Amanda, no town

ANSWER: This is a wonderful volunteer activity to get involved in, gets you outside and doesn’t take a lot of your time.

The Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust maintains traditional public access and uses of over 14,000 acres of conservation land for recreation, education and scientific study. They operate EcoVenture Youth Camp, Headwaters Lake Protection Program, and offer remote and traditional camping through Cupsuptic Lake Park & Campground. To learn more about RLHT or how to get involved, visit rlht.org.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I called one of your Rolodex contacts to have my tub repainted, Corro’s Fiberglassing & Refinishing. Steve Corro did an excellent job and my tub looks brand new and now has a beautiful, shiny finish. He can be contacted at 783-5944. Thank you for what you do for so many readers.

— Norm, Lewiston

ANSWER: I’m so glad the bathtub refinishing information published in the June 19 Sun Spots helped you. If my memory serves me correctly, Sun Spots reader supplied this information.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name. We won’t use it if you ask us not to. Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected].


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