The VLMP offers a wide range of workshops to provide training and certification for volunteer lake monitors, and to educate the public concerning indicators of lake health.
Water quality workshops train and certify volunteers to collect scientific data for a wide range of indicators of lake water quality, including water clarity (Secchi disk transparency), temperature and dissolved oxygen, total phosphorus, and comprehensive baseline chemical data.
Workshop participants are also provided with information concerning the monitoring and documentation of additional aquatic phenomena that may be associated with lake health, including the presence and abundance of the cyanobacterium (aka bluegreen algae) Gloeotrichia, and “green cotton candy-like” filamentous algae referred to as metaphyton. Monitoring the effects of extreme weather events associated with climate change is covered as well.
For more information about indicators of lake water quality and their use in determining lake health, visit our Water Quality Indicators page. For more information about basic requirements for becoming a certified monitor, visit our Training and Certification page.
Invasive Plant Patrol (IPP) workshops are for individuals interested in helping prevent the spread of aquatic invaders, and train volunteers to screen their waterbody for the presence of invasive aquatic plants and other invasive organisms.
• IPP 101 and IPP Field Methods provide in-depth, hands-on learning for those interested in monitoring lakes, ponds, and streams for the presence of Maine’s eleven prohibited invasive aquatic plants.
• Invasive Aquatic Plant Manual Control workshops are geared for SCUBA divers and those providing surface support for IAP control projects.
• Courtesy Boat Inspection training is offered for groups who wish to establish a CBI program in their communities. (This training can be added-on to IPP Field Methods training at the host’s request.)
• Advanced Plant ID provides training with live plants for those interested in learning more about Maine’s native aquatic plants.
For more information about the IPP program, visit our Invasive Plant Patrol page. For more information about the different IPP workshops and IPP certification requirements, visit our Training and Certification page.
Lakes are strongly influenced by the land area, or watershed, surrounding them. All water that falls within a lake watershed ultimately drains to the lake, and carries with it eroded soil particles, nutrients, and other polluntants that are swept up along the way.
Understanding and protecting watersheds helps us understand and protect lakes. Watershed survey participants are provided with basic infomation about identifying and documenting problems in their lake watersheds. Workshops include a classroom presentation, followed by a field trip to nearby lake watersheds.
The VLMP promotes volunteer leadership through a variety of events that are designed to provide training, networking, and support for monitors who are interested in working with colleagues and members of their lake communities. Invasive Plant Patrollers are encouraged to participate in one or more leadership events, including How to Lead a Plant Paddle, View Scope Construction Clinics, and The IPP Leaders Roundtable. Lake water quality monitors have the opportunity to develop and use leadership skills at Mentor Training Workshops and Regional and Data Coordinator Training sessions.
The VLMP Annual Lake Monitoring Conference is an opportunity for lake monitors to get together to learn about new developments in lake science, presented by some of the nation’s leading experts, and network with fellow lake monitors, VLMP and MDEP staff, and lake research scientists. The event also recognizes individual lake monitors for their exceptional contributions.
The conference takes palce in mid-summer and is open to the public. Certified VLMP lake monitors attend at no cost. Lunch is provided, and certified volunteers are eligible for door prizes drawn throughout the event.
The Lake Events Calendar is a great way to see what’s going on in the lakes community in Maine throughout the year. If you have an event you would like to submit to the Lake Events Calendar please send that information to the VLMP at firstname.lastname@example.org.