7 Lakes Alliance is proudly home to Maine’s largest Youth Conservation Corps (YCC). YCC is a preventative program that aims to reduce the amount of phosphorus entering the water by increasing infiltration and stabilization. Unfiltered runoff entering the water is a key reason for algal blooms.
YCC installs Best Management Practices (BMPs) like rain gardens, infiltration
trenches, erosion control mulch, and more. BMP’s are long term solutions
to a very serious problem in the Belgrade Lakes. Luckily landowners are becoming increasingly concerned about algal problems and are signing up for YCC projects to protect the watershed. The support of our watershed community is an important piece as to why the YCC program has been successful over the last 23 years.
In 2018, the crew installed over 80 projects to decrease erosion in the Belgrade
Lakes watershed. Another important benefit of YCC is that we provide
summer employment to 10-15 young individuals- typically high school or
college students. This is the first employment for many of our crew members
and we aim to teach them responsibility and other important job skills they
can use in the future. 7 Lakes Alliance is adding another crew to the YCC
team for the 2019 season to keep up with growing demand. With increasing
costs, we need additional funding to keep this program robust and sustainable.