Secchi Simulator

The Secchi disk is a simple but effective tool used by lake scientists worldwide to measure the clarity (aka: transparency) of lake water. Taken at regular intervals, Secchi readings provide a reliable indicator of overall lake health.

The VLMP Secchi Simulator is anSimulator Button innovative tool developed to enable volunteer citizen lake scientists to meet recertification requirements online, reducing the frequency, and therefore the time and expense, of in-person recertification. It has been shown to be an effective means of ensuring that volunteer monitors gathering water quality data are using the proper protocol and that their readings meet a specific standard.

The Simulator includes both taking a virtual Secchi reading and a series of multiple choice questions designed to gauge understanding. Their responses and official Secchi reading are entered into the VLMP volunteer database.

The Secchi Simulator is also available to the general public as a learning tool, and is being used by a number of citizen lake monitoring networks throughout the country.

Our Mission

The Mission of the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program is to help protect Maine lakes through widespread citizen participation in the gathering and dissemination of credible scientific information pertaining to lake health. The VLMP trains, certifies and provides technical support to hundreds of volunteers who monitor a wide range of indicators of water quality, assess watershed health and function, and screen lakes for invasive aquatic plants and animals. In addition to being the primary source of lake data in the State of Maine, VLMP volunteers benefit their local lakes by playing key stewardship and leadership roles in their communities.


The VLMP is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to the collection of information pertaining to lake water quality. For 40 years, trained volunteers throughout Maine have donated their time so that we may all learn more about one of Maine’s most beautiful and important resources — our lakes.