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MLRC Partner Highlight: Nathan Durant, BRCA Youth Conservation Corps Program Director

This summer marks the start of Nathan Durant’s second season as Program Director for the BRCA Youth Conservation Corps (YCC). Each summer, the BRCA YCC funds a crew of local high school and college students to work on projects designed to prevent erosion while the homeowner pays for any necessary materials (such as rocks, mulch, plants, and geotextile). The YCC provides a cost effective way to remedy erosion issues on your property and subsequently improves the water quality of your lake. This Spring, Nathan was trained as a LakeSmart screener and will incorporate the LakeSmart standards into his BMP recommendations.

YCC crew members installing rip rap to stabilize a shoreline.

YCC crew members installing rip rap to stabilize a shoreline.

Nathan hails from Williamsburg, a township located near Brownville, Maine. He attended college at University of Maine at Farmington where he assisted Dr. Dan Buckley in his research pertaining to shoreline surveys and invasive aquatic plants for the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust in 2011. Once graduated, he was accepted for the Margret Chase Smith summer internship program. Over that summer he worked with the Forest Health and Monitoring program as an entomology assistant. Nathan then began working on a trail crew with the Maine Conservation Corps (MCC). While part of the MCC, Nathan spent time building a 60ft bridge through brackish wetlands in Damariscotta, cutting new trail on the Schoodic Peninsula, setting stone steps in Grafton Notch State Park, and finished his service resurfacing bike trails in Yarmouth. This 900 hour term of service at MCC ignited “a fiery passion for conservation” that Nathan intends to stoke for the rest of his life.

In addition to leading the YCC, Nathan also works as part of the interim sampling crew collecting data for the Water Quality Initiative.

The BRCA YCC is looking for summer project sites in the Belgrade Lakes region. If you are interested in controlling erosion and improving your lake, please contact Nathan at (207) 495-6039 or brcacc@belgradelakes.org to set up a site visit.