Conservation Practices

After reading our 2017 Watershed Survey report, you probably have a general idea about how to make your property more lake-friendly. However, making the leap from concept to constructive change may be a challenge.

The Maine DEP and Portland Water District produced a series of 24 fact sheets that answer many common how-to questions. The fact sheets profile common conservation practices that homeowners can use to protect water quality and include detailed instructions, diagrams and color photos about installation and maintenance. The series includes the following:

The series also includes six native plant lists. Each one is tailored to different site conditions (e.g., full sun and dry soils). The lists include plant descriptions and color photos of each plant to make plant selection easier.

These additional publications provide details for creating vegetated buffers and managing gravel roads:

Buffer Handbook PDF format – A Guide to Creating Vegetated Buffers for Lakefront Properties (1998). This 20-page handbook provides information about landscaping your shoreline for lake protection and helps you get started on planning and planting your shoreline. This manual is available electronically, unfortunately it is no longer available in print.
Buffer Handbook Plant List PDF format – This 50-page publication contains a listing of and details about trees, shrubs, and groundcovers that could be used in planting or improving a buffer in Maine. Plant descriptions include scientific and common names, sun and soil requirements, plant hardiness zone, plant characteristics, and native status. This publication was updated in 2009 to include more native species and to remove species that are now known to be or suspected of being invasive. This manual is available electronically, unfortunately it is no longer available in print.
Gravel Road Maintenance Manual: A Guide for Landowners on Camp and Other Gravel Roads PDF format – This manual provides camp road owners, contractors, and others with information on maintaining and improving unpaved gravel roads. Includes troubleshooting guide, practical tools and detailed diagrams on ditching, crowning, road surface materials, and other road maintenance practices, as well as checklists and other guidance.