The NH LAKES LakeSmart Program helps fight against cyanobacteria blooms

Cyanobacteria blooms are becoming widespread on New Hampshire’s lakes early this summer.

Communities are embracing lake-friendly practices to protect New Hampshire’s lakes

Concord, N.H., June 25, 2024—Problems for New Hampshire lakes are growing–literally. Numerous public health advisories have already been issued this summer for cyanobacteria blooms, urging people to stay out of the lake. These blooms, which can produce toxins that make people, pets, and wildlife seriously ill, are increasing in lakes across the state and becoming more and more common each year. So far this summer, our lakes are on pace to set an all-time record for the number of cyanobacteria warnings issued.

But, there’s good news, too. NH LAKES offers the LakeSmart Lake-Friendly Living Program to help property owners do their part to prevent and minimize these potentially toxic blooms. LakeSmart is a free, non-regulatory, and voluntary education and recognition program that provides property owners with a menu of simple ways they can reduce the amount of pollution coming off their property feeding cyanobacteria blooms in nearby lakes. Over the past few years, hundreds of property owners around the state have made their property more lake-friendly in order to earn the LakeSmart Award. By posting their LakeSmart award on their property, they have inspired their neighbors and others in their community to live in a more lake-friendly way, too!

Maria Gross of Conway Lake received her LakeSmart Award for making her property lake-friendly

Maria Gross on Conway Lake recently received her LakeSmart award and had this to say about her LakeSmart experience, “We have a long, well-trodden path with a few steps leading from the house down to the dock. Different mulches have been tried on it to slow the steady flow of stormwater whipping off our roof and patio. We realized we really didn’t have a good understanding of what to do.” Maria continued, “The LakeSmart Team was thorough about how we could really care for our lake and we got serious about making it happen.”

Through the LakeSmart Program, property owners receive tailored recommendations about adopting lake-friendly practices they can do for their property, in their home, or along the lake. “The effort property owners are putting into ensuring they are living in a lake-friendly way is a testament to the importance of our lakes to each of us,” added Gloria Norcross, LakeSmart Program Coordinator.

No matter where you live, next to a lake or miles from it, what you do in and on your property can impact a lake. You can discover what lake-friendly living opportunities you can take on your property and how you can do your part to minimize and prevent cyanobacteria blooms by taking the FREE online LakeSmart Start survey!

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