Thanks to the vast tracts of unbroken forests around Sebago Lake, just 20 miles upstream of the Portland, Maine metropolitan area, the city’s residents, visitors, and businesses are fortunate to enjoy some of the purest drinking water in the entire country.
But with just 11 percent of these watershed forests protected, Sebago Clean Waters (SCW), a coalition made up of a regional water utility and nine conservation organizations — including the Open Space Institute (OSI) — is working to accelerate the land protection that will not only ensure clean water, but also support the local and state economy.
Now, a growing and broad array of local businesses is raising funds for SCW — demonstrating that companies are increasingly aware of, and committed to investing in, the woods and waters that are essential to their success.
“It’s absolutely marvelous to see forward-thinking businesses independently standing up in support of the essential role the Sebago watershed plays for greater Portland,” said Jennifer Melville, vice president at OSI. “Portland’s outstanding water is getting the credit it’s due as the secret ingredient in supporting a wide array of successful businesses.”
SCW’s work attracts business support for a range of reasons. Some are interested in protecting the pure water source that is crucial for their products, others in encouraging the healthy, outdoor lifestyle of their employees and communities, and still others are focused on corporate responsibility through environmental sustainability.