Neighbors Taking Action: Meet Jack Kutner

Jack and his wife, Cindy, moved to their lakefront property on Lake Sunapee three years ago after vacationing in the area on and off for years. Like many, COVID prompted them to move to the area year-round. “We loved the area because it isn’t overly developed and we have always been attracted to the beautiful lake and surrounding area,” recalled Jack. “But, recently I learned that Lake Sunapee and the surrounding watershed is under considerable stress and is not as healthy as it appears.”

Jack was surprised—and alarmed—to learn of toxic cyanobacteria blooms occurring in Lake Sunapee. He wanted to know what he could do to help. A neighbor suggested Jack reach out to NH LAKES.

Among other resources Jack discovered with NH LAKES, was a list of ten things he could do to help keep the lake clean and healthy. One item on the list was, “Make sure your voice is heard.” He began to wonder what he could do to speak up for his lake.

Jack asked questions about what local protections were in place to preserve water quality. He learned Newbury—the town he lives in—had adopted robust lake-friendly protections in its zoning regulations. But, he also learned the town was not budgeting enough to enforce the protections.

Jack and a number of other concerned residents began a campaign to educate Newbury residents about the declining water quality with the goal of getting the town to increase focus and resources on enforcement of the water protection regulations. At last count, over 100 residents had signed on to their mailing list and late in 2021, the group convinced the town’s Selectboard to increase the town budget for enforcement.

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