Mission: The belgrade regional conservation alliance (brca) conserves the lands, water quality, and natural heritage of the belgrade lakes watershed. To promote for the benefit of the general public the preservation of natural resources, to engage in and promote the scientific study of, and education regarding natural resources, and to use all property held by the corp, and the net earnings thereon, for the benefit of the general public and for charitable, educational, recreational, conservation, or scientific purposes.
Programs: Brca's milfoil program seeks to protect aquatic ecosystems & public enjoyment of the lakes in the belgrade lakes watershed, by preventing and mitigating the spread of invasive aquatic plants. Brca places both paid & volunteer boat inspectors at public boat launches to check for plant fragments on boats entering & leaving lakes, and educates boaters about the threat posed by invasive aquatic plants. Brca also organizes invasive plant patrols to search for invasive plants that may have become established in at-risk areas. In 2014, brca employed 26 part-time workers and worked with 20 volunteers to provide 7,540 hours of coverage, & inspected 12,310 boats on 7 public boat ramps and 1 private launch. In 2010, variable milfoil was found growing in the great meadow stream that runs between north pond and great pond. During the summer of 2014, brca worked in partnership with the belgrade lakes association to mitigate the variable milfoil infestation and pulled nearly 12,960 gallons of variable milfoil, while employing 9 summer staff and many volunteers. In partnership with friends of messalonskee, brca milfoil staff also pulled 16,438 gallons of variable milfoil from areas in belgrade stream and the southern end of messalonskee lake.
the primary goal of brca's youth conservation corps is to protect the water quality of the belgrade lakes chain from degradation due to the impact of developed areas within the watershed. To accomplish this, the conservation corps employs local students to complete erosion control projects in the belgrade lakes watershed, reducing the input of sediment, phosphorus, and other pollutants into the lakes. Typical projects include shoreline riprap, bare soil stabilization, buffer plantings, infiltration structures, rain gardens, and runoff diversion. Projects are completed primarily on privately-owned property around the lakes, and homeowners pay only for the cost of materials used. The cost of planning, technical assistance and labor is paid for by donations from area lake associations, municipalities, businesses and private donors.
lakes trust division: brca's lake trust program is a collaborative between brca and the five lake associations in the belgrade lakes watershed that was formed to: (1) improve and maintain water quality in our lakes; (2) build the capacity and strengthen the branding of lake associations; (3) create public support and increase funding for water quality restoration. Through the lake trust, brca provides technical expertise and capacity-building assistance to the lake associations and facilitates watershed-wide discussion of water quality issues. Specific services provided by the lake trust include: providing staff support for water quality programs of the belgrade lakes association, primarily for data collection & analysis; facilitating monthly collaborative meetings between brca and the five member lake associations; and providing direction for the courtesy boat inspection program and youth conservation corps.