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Senator George J. Mitchell Center & Maine's Sustainability Solutions Initiative


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Road to Solutions - Freshwater Resources

Protecting Natural Resources at the Community Scale Safeguarding a Vulnerable Watershed Restoring Maine’s Rivers Sustaining Our Lakes Quality of Place in the Saco River Estuary
Charting the Rangeley Region’s Systems Water Institute Research 2013 Water Institute Research 2012 Long-term Monitoring Mercury Research
       
Future of Four Seasons in Maine Water Institute Research 2014      

Protecting Natural Resources at the Community Scale
Many Maine communities are facing the same dilemma: how to maintain economic viability without compromising the ecological integrity of natural resources that attract people to Maine. An SSI research team is using local vernal pool conservation as a model to help communities find ways to balance economic development with natural resource conservation on private land…

Safeguarding a Vulnerable Watershed
Sebago Lake is many things to many people: drinking water for about 200,000 Greater Portland residents, a place to play and a source of hydropower. This research team is working to create new tools to aid in planning and policy decisions to help safeguard Sebago’s future…

Restoring Maine’s Rivers
The health of Maine’s rivers may be key to the future of the state’s commercial and sports fisheries—and to the economies of the communities that have relied on them. This SSI team is studying alewife restoration in the Kennebec and Androscoggin rivers, and the ecological and economic impacts of these efforts on fisheries and economies from the headwaters to the coast…

Sustaining Our Lakes
Maine’s 5,700-plus lakes pump an estimated $2.5 billion into the state’s economy every year. Human activity, however, is reducing water quality in many lakes, which affects everything from property values to tourism dollars to fish. A team at Colby College is studying the Belgrade Lakes Watershed as a model for creating new strategies to improve and protect lake water quality and promote sustainability in surrounding communities…

Sustaining Quality of Place in the Saco River Estuary through Community Based Ecosystem Management
After several decades of clean-up efforts, the Saco River Estuary is coming back to life. Surrounding communities are now turning to the estuary as a source of renewal and economic development, but new pressures are emerging, including increasing coastal development. Understanding how these pressures affect the estuary and developing new tools to help stakeholders safeguard its health is the focus of this SSI project…

Charting the Rangeley Region’s Social-Ecological System and Identifying Community Sustainability Strategies
The Rangeley region’s history as a tourist destination and source for the forest products industry tie its socioeconomic opportunities to the viability and character of its natural landscape. The region has recently undergone rapid change as land ownership has shifted from pulp and paper companies to financial capital…

Water Institute Research 2013
At the land grant university of each state, a small federal grant provides base support for a program that identifies water resources research needs, finds university researchers capable of conducting useful research, and leverages federal funds to sponsor the needed investigations. The State Water Resources Research Institute Program (WRRI)  is administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior through the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). As Maine’s congressionally-authorized water institute, the Maine Water Institute receives base funding to operate programs tailored to meet Maine’s water resource needs.

Water Resources Institute 2012
As Maine’s congressionally-authorized water institute, the Maine Water Institute receives base funding through the USGS to operate programs tailored to meet Maine’s water resource needs.

Long-Term Monitoring

Mercury Research
Mercury is a natural element but is found in elevated levels in Maine and many locations across the country due largely to fossil fuel emissions; mercury travels far in the atmosphere and lands in remote places – far from where it may be emitted – worldwide. Scientists are unable to predict which waterbodies might have high or low mercury because it has a complex cycle both getting to waterbodies and once it’s in the water…

The Future of Four Seasons in Maine: A Scientist-Teacher-Student Partnership to investigate climate change in seasonally snow-covered watersheds
This project engages 1,275 students and 30 high school teachers with professional scientists in research regarding the changing nature of snowpack across Maine, emphasizing the coastal climate zone where snowmelt provides cues for diadromous fish migration.

Image Description: women looking at map

Image Description: student sampling in Sebago

Image Description: student working in river

Image Description: students lake sampling

Image Description: student taking notes in estuary

Image Description: snowmobile

Image Description: canoe facing lake

Image Description: girl drinking water

Image Description: aerial view of river

Image Description: dragonfly and larvae

Image Description: researcher in snow

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Contact Information

Senator George J. Mitchell Center & Maine's Sustainability Solutions Initiative
5710 Norman Smith Hall
Orono, ME 04469
Phone: 207.581.3244E-mail: umgmc@maine.edu
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1110
A Member of the University of Maine System