It is an amazing thing when individuals (citizens), upon witnessing a significant problem with uncertain and varied causation, step forward and join together to address that problem by forming a new organization dedicated to confronting the issues. This is exactly what the founders of the Keoka Lake Association (KLA) did fifty years ago, in 1971. The KLA founders included:
Mrs. William Strong
KLA50 ANNIVERSARY PROJECT
Keoka Lake Association turned 50 years old in 2021. Begun in 1971 by an intrepid group of volunteers who were concerned about the dam being able to moderate the level of the lake to keep Keoka clean and healthy, KLA has grown to an organization that continues their activism to maintain the clarity and health of the lake. The evolution of the organization in the past 50 years includes monitoring, surveying, and testing a number of hot spots around the lake; collaborating with the town of Waterford and the State of Maine DEP to mitigate run-off issues along Highway 35; construction of a new boat launch area; and introducing a variety of proactive programs, including Courtesy Boat Inspections, Plant Patrols, LakeSmart and a host of public Education programs. From its meager beginnings, KLA now boasts the highest percentage of shoreowner memberships (80+%) of any lake in the LEA (Lakes Environmental Association) coverage area. KLA is a "poster child’ for involvement and support from the lake community and the Waterford community at large. For more on the celebration, photos, and results, click here.
For history of Keoka Lake click here.
2020s (117 members)
2010s (98 members)
2000s (83 members)
In honor of the 50th anniversary of KLA, the KLA50 capital campaign was established to provide an adequate reserve fund for immediate eradication efforts in the event that milfoil or any other water quality threat was identified. While celebration events were postponed a year due to COVID-19, the KLA Board continued to meet virtually and prevention and detection programs continued.
KLA implemented education programs including "Operation Report It Now!" KLA started a Facebook page. The LakeSmart program was implemented at over 20% of Keoka properties. The boat ramp was replaced and re-graded. KLA received its official non-profit designation
KLA expanded and improved the Town Beach boat ramp. KLA worked with county, town, and federal resources to identify and fix key storm water runoff "hot spots." Navigation and hazard buoys were put in place. The dam gate was replaced with a modern mechanism. The Courtesy Boat Inspection program and plant surveys were initiated. KLA established a website.
1990s (74 members)
1980s (48 members)
1970s (30 members)
Dam ownership and control was clarified. The fish population changed as largemouth bass and perch were introduced. The sailing regatta and dock-to-dock progressive cocktails became summertime events. KLA merchandise was in high demand. Water quality was still a high concern and we began to hear about the dangers of milfoil.
A gate was added to the dam. A loon raft was launched. KLA built a relationship with LEA and they took over water testing. Storm water runoff was causing algae growth. Waterford adopted shore land zoning regulations to reduce lake pollution.
The dam condition was precarious, so that was the first order of business for KLA. Work was completed by winter. KLA then invested in water testing equipment and training. They found high levels of blue-green algae and high fecal coli bacteria. With a focus on education, KLA began improving water quality.