Category: Lake Host Stories

Establishing a Lake Host Program

Be the Hero Your Lake Needs!

Protecting your lake from invasive plants and animals is critical. Large areas of invasive plants in a lake make swimming and boating difficult and dangerous. They are expensive to control and nearly impossible to get rid of. They also reduce shoreline property values. And invasive animals in our lakes are increasing. Unfortunately, no management options are available in New Hampshire to control these animal infestations in our lakes.

Be a Hero for You Lake - Start a Lake Host Program!

Lake Hosts act as the first line of defense in maintaining our lakes’ safety from these invaders, which can be transported by your boat, trailer, and recreational gear. They are trained by NH LAKES and stationed at public boat ramps to educate boaters on the Clean, Drain, and Dry method. In addition, Lake Hosts perform complimentary boat inspections to find and remove any suspicious specimens before they can enter the lake.

Running a Lake Host Program is Easier than You Think

The Lake Host Program makes arming your lakes with paid and volunteered Lake Hosts easy. To make running a Lake Host Program easier for you, NH LAKES:

*Runs the Lake Host Charitable Giving Program, allowing for tax-deductible donations to be made directly to your local group’s Lake Host Payroll.

*Provides all uniforms and needed materials for Lake Hosts.

*Acts as the employer for all paid Lake Hosts.

*Provides training and in-season support to Lake Hosts and group leadership.

*Provides reports on the identity of suspicious specimens collected from boats.

*Processes biweekly payrolls.

*Provides an end-of-year report on your group’s financial information, boater activity, and your group’s aquatic invasive species relationship (all boats that came from or departed to infested waterbodies)

Bring the Lake Host Program to your lake! Build your Lake Host Team:

Lake Host Coordinator: Responsible for verifying timesheets and maintaining a comprehensive database of boat inspections and volunteer matches.

Group Treasurer: Monitors financial updates, providing regular updates on payroll expenses and the program’s in-season financial status.

Group Leader: Acts as a liaison to NH LAKES on behalf of your group and is an additional resource who receives ongoing financial and final activity reports.

Now that you have your team, what’s your next step?

Apply for the Lake Host Payroll Award: From late February through March, you can apply for the Payroll Award to secure initial funding to staff your local ramp with paid Lake Hosts. Don’t worry about missing the Payroll Award; you can still start a program with volunteers or alternative funds. And you can apply next year!

Plan for Funding: Explore additional funding sources to extend the coverage of your ramp. Groups can fund their program through lake association pledges, town or municipal contributions, or the Lake Host Charitable Giving Program.

Recruit Volunteers and Employees: Engage community members and your neighbors to become Lake Hosts. It’s a great way to engage the community – anyone over 16 can participate! 

Starting a Lake Host Program is an effective and inclusive way to safeguard our lakes from the threat of aquatic invasive species. With the support of NH LAKES and a committed local team, you can significantly impact preserving your beloved lake’s ecology and recreational value. 

Check out our webinar if you want to learn more about joining the Lake Host Program. 

Learn more about what the Lake Host Program looks like here! 

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