2020 Achievement Award Recipients

The North American Lake Management Society, NALMS, recognizes individuals, teams, and organizations for their efforts and contributions to enhance management of lakes and reservoirs. Each year NALMS receives nomination letters from members and supporters lifting up their peers – individuals and groups – worthy of receiving recognition for their dedication to NALMS’ mission and/or for strides made in leadership, education, and lake management. It is with great honor that we share these nomination letters, as well as the 2020 award recipients recognized at the NALMS 40th annual symposium, held virtually this year.

Outgoing Officers & Directors

NALMS is a product of devoted individuals volunteering their time and efforts as officers and directors to advance the NALMS’ mission. Thank you outgoing officer and directors!


  • Sara Peel, Past President
  • Amy Smagula, Secretary


  • Erich Marzolf, Region 4
  • Michelle Balmer, Region 7
  • Steve Lundt, Region 8
  • Kris Hadley, Region 11
  • Liz Favot, Student At-Large Director
  • Kat Hartwig, At-Large Director

Jim Flynn Outstanding Corporation Award

The Jim Flynn Outstanding Corporation Award is given annually to recognize and honor the corporation considered to have made the most significant contributions to NALMS goals and objectives.

SOLitude Lake Management
Nominated by Amy Smagula

I would like to nominate NALMS Corporate Member, SOLitude Lake Management, for the 2020 Jim Flynn Award, for their commitment to holistic and multi-faceted lake and pond management, and their dedicated support of NALMS for many years. I have seen their commitment both through my work with the NALMS board, but also as one of their clients when I engage them for lake management services in New Hampshire’s freshwater systems.

SOLitude Lake Management is a professional contracting firm with offices across the United States. They service the water needs of a variety of clients, including private pond owners, growers (vineyards, cranberry farms), shorefront property owners, professional office parks, lake associations, state and federal agencies, and municipalities, among others. Their services include a wide array of both evaluation and management techniques and tools, including water quality monitoring, shoreline stabilization, nutrient inactivation, fisheries management, invasive species management, aeration, wetland management, and much more.

In their work, SOLitude relies on proven scientific methods and evidence to guide their management practices, to address root causes of the problem, not just the symptoms that are often observed by concerned stakeholders. In cases where established methods are lacking, or where fine-tuning is needed, SOLitude has engaged in field research to find or develop solutions that work in improving the quality of the system in question, and in doing so, have often partnered with other experts in the field for collaborative studies and evaluations.

On the staff level, SOLitude staff are dedicated in their work. One of the most compelling characteristics of the SOLitude staff that I have seen first-hand through their projects in New Hampshire and elsewhere, is that they take time with their clients to explain the rationale, process, and expected outcomes of a project, so that the client is engaged in the project, and empowered with knowledge imparted to them by SOLitude staff. If something does not go exactly as expected, they are involved in evaluating next steps and methods to achieve the desired results, even for the stubbornest problems. Their staff provide technical information, attend local meetings to adeptly answer questions about proposed projects, and work carefully to evaluate each project and find the appropriate solution for the best possible outcome, and see permitting and implementation through to the end. Staff have also assisted with efforts for continuous process improvement, to help streamline or revamp outdated approaches or processes, so that projects can go forward in a timely manner, to avoid delays and further decline in waterbody conditions.

Many of these individual SOLitude staff have been long-time members of NALMS and have contributed to the exchange of information by presenting papers or workshops at NALMS symposia, and writing articles for the NALMS magazine, LakeLine. SOLitude also encourages and supports staff to be active in a variety of professional organizations, including the NALMS board of directors and related committees, and encourages them to participate in the peer review process for journals like Lake and Reservoir Management, and contribute to scientific literature with articles about their projects.

In addition to sharing their technical expertise locally and at NALMS symposia, SOLitude Lake Management maintains their Corporate Membership with NALMS, and has also supported NALMS through conference sponsorships. Further, SOLitude has supported students in lake management by sponsoring the NALMS student paper and poster contest. SOLitude has also supported NALMS’ Lakes Appreciate Month initiatives, a flagship program to promote lake and watershed awareness at the local level across the country each July. Their contributions to this effort helped to engage youth in a poster contest, to raise lake-awareness among grade school children across the country. SOLitude has also contributed to NALMS’ other important summer program, the Secchi Dip-In, by sharing videos of staff members collecting lake clarity data with a Secchi disk, and encouraging their customers and partners to do the same.

SOLitude also gives back to the communities in which their offices are located. Staff participate in fundraising efforts as well as in local volunteerism, to support a variety of community initiatives across the country, related to lake habitats and beyond.

Both in my direct work with SOLitude for projects in New Hampshire, and my observations about their professionalism and generosity through NALMS and other similar groups, I feel confident that SOLitude exemplifies both the mission and the goals of NALMS, and is more than qualified for the recognition of receiving the NALMS Jim Flynn Award for Corporate Excellence.

Leadership & Service Award:
Education & Outreach

Awards individuals or teams for design, facilitation, or performance of exceptional education and outreach activities supporting community understanding and appreciation of lake and reservoir management. Congratulations to our 2020 recipient!

Lake Champlain Committee
Nominated by Eric Howe

The Lake Champlain Committee has worked to protect Lake Champlain’s environmental integrity and recreational resources for over 55 years. During this time, the LCC’s efforts have prevented the construction of a nuclear power plant on the shoreline, the use of Lake Champlain as a commercial seaway for supertankers, and lake level manipulation by dams. This was all before 1981!

More recently, the LCC has worked with partners to lead education and outreach efforts to communities across the Lake Champlain watershed to reduce pollution to the lake. Notable efforts include the landmark “Don’t P on Your Lawn” and “Scoop the Poop” campaigns to reduce nutrient and bacteria loading into Lake Champlain. The “Don’t P” campaign helped convince lawmakers in Vermont and New York to enact legislation banning phosphorus in detergents and lawn fertilizers. Communities across Vermont now “Scoop the Poop” on April 1 (April Stool’s Day, of course) every year and clean up literally hundreds of pounds of pet waste from recreation trails and public spaces to prevent runoff of harmful bacteria into Lake Champlain’s waterways. The LCC has worked with the Lake Champlain Basin Program, Vermont DEC, Vermont DOH, New York DEC, and many other partners for the past two decades to build an exemplary model of a trained-citizen volunteer monitoring program for cyanobacteria in Lake Champlain. This program now boasts over 300 trained volunteers annually recording observations that are uploaded to a public-accessible webpage in near-real time for public safety.

The LCC also has focused on public recreation, as a founding organization and manager of the Lake Champlain Paddler’s Trail. Formally launched in 1996, the Lake Champlain Paddlers’ Trail system now includes 41 locations on public and private lands providing access to over 600 campsites. Their long-term goal is to have trail locations roughly a day’s paddle apart. The LCC also publishes an annual trail guidebook.

The tireless work of the LCC since 1963 has led to significant work toward improvement and protection of the health and recreational opportunities of the Lake Champlain basin. Lake Champlain would not be the amazing resource it is today without the long-standing support of the Lake Champlain Committee.

Advancements in Lake Management Techniques

Jeffery Pasek
Nominated by Marc Beutel

We wholeheartedly nominate Jeffery Pasek based on his tireless work on two groundbreaking reservoir projects: Hodges Reservoir Oxygenation and Pure Water San Diego. Through his diligent efforts, both projects are becoming reality in 2020/21! These programs grew out of the San Diego Integrated Regional Water Management Program which Jeff helped develop since 2005, which aims to develop long-term water supply reliability and quality in the region. Jeff began working ~40 years ago as a reservoir keeper and retired as a program manager in July 2020. His colleagues will miss his laser focus on keeping critical water quality projects moving forward over the long term. He was also an active long-term leader in CALMS, the California section of NALMS. The timing is perfect to present him with a well-deserved award for his lifelong commitment to Reservoir Management!

The Hodges project includes the installation of a hypolimnetic oxygenation system to deliver 9,900 lb-per day to Hodges Reservoir bottom waters (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byCCuoy6pFw). The system is designed to reduce anaerobic bacterial activity that degrades water quality to levels that reduce operational flexibility of the reservoir. The project will improve water quality such that water can be transported into the regional aqueduct system for municipal water supply treatment and use Under his guidance, the City secured ~$5 million in State funds for water quality projects at Hodges Reservoir and the San Dieguito Watershed. A unique focus on this project is how oxygen addition, which is conventionally used to repress internal loading of nutrients, iron and manganese, could affect mercury bioaccumulation (see attached applied research papers). The working hypothesis is that maintenance of a well-oxygenated profundal sediment-water interface and water column will suppress the activity of anaerobic sulfate-reducing bacteria known to produce toxic methylmercury, which biomagnifies in aquatic food webs and poses a health threat to humans and wildlife that eat contaminated fish.

The Pure Water San Diego Project is a 30 MGD (phase 1) indirect potable reuse project that is turning highly treated wastewater into a new water sources (https://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2016/feb/04/stringers-we-already-drink-toilet-tap-water/). The project was voted down twice by voters who misunderstood it as a “toilet to tap” project, but an education and outreach effort by the City turned public opinion around, and now the project is moving forward.

While a large part of the project is related to advanced water treatment technology, the project had an unanticipated and creative link to reservoir management. State regulators required that the highly treated recycled water be held in the environment for around a year before use. Jeff spearheaded the concept to use regional water reservoirs to store and dilute the water before delivering it to regional water treatment plants. The first phase of the novel water management concept is being implemented in Miramar Reservoir this year. A key part of the concept was extensive hydrodynamic modeling showing how timing, flowrate, and depth of recycled water input could be optimized to store and dilute recycled water to levels acceptable to regulators, while still using the reservoirs as a continuous source of water for regional water treatment plants.

Lake Management Success Stories

Awarded to individuals or organizations accomplishing successful lake management efforts. Nominees must show demonstrable improvements in lake conditions through lake and watershed management.

Water Quality Committee of the Normanoch Association, Inc.
Nominated by Stephen Souza

The Normanoch Association (NAI) is responsible for the management of Culver Lake. One of NJ’s largest lakes, it covers 555 acre and is 60 foot deep, with a watershed encompassing 3,999 acres, most of which is still forested. The lake’s hydraulic retention time is very long, 2.47 years.

NAI’s Water Quality Committee (WQC) is actively engaged in the management of Culver Lake and its watershed. Since 1989 I have served as Culver Lake’s lake management consultant, providing me with a first-hand opportunity to witness the work of NAI’s WQC, as well as quantify the benefits resulting from their efforts. Over the past four decades, the WQC implemented several innovative lake improvement projects along with citizen-scientist based water quality sampling and monitoring programs. All of this was done with privately raised monies. The efforts of NAI and the WQC significantly improved the lake’s conditions from that which existed in the 1980s. Because of their foresight, educational efforts and preemptive lake restoration strategies, Culver Lake has never been treated with copper sulfate or any other algaecide. Instead, the lake’s management has relied on a data-driven, ecologically comprehensive, proactive approach following the blueprint contained in the 1989 Comprehensive Lake Trophic State Report. Since then, subsequent studies have been conducted and the lake’s management plan updated to address changes in watershed development and capitalize on the benefits accrued from various in-lake and watershed-based phosphorus load reduction projects. WQC projects include:

  1. Operation of a Hypolimnetic/Layer-Air aeration system installed in 1992
  2. Biomanipulation of the lake’s fishery and zooplankton communities
  3. Application of an iron precipitant to control internal phosphorus loading
  4. Community-wide septic system inspection/management program
  5. Stormwater management projects including demonstration rain gardens and the retrofit of catch basins and stormwater outfalls
  6. Operation of a septic system alum doser that decreases septic-related phosphorus loading
  7. Control of invasive aquatic weed growth
  8. Operation of a diffuser that minimizes debris and cyanobacteria accumulation within the community beach
  9. The purchase and preservation of land.

The WQC tracks the success of these projects by:

  1. Collecting lake data via professional lake managers and WQC volunteers
  2. Modeling of the lake’s internal and external pollutant loads with the data used to guide future lake and watershed management projects
  3. Stormwater outfall mapping and sampling by WQC volunteers; data used to identify illicit connections, failing septic systems, and chronic sources of pollutant loading
  4. Routine testing of microcystin, chlorophyll and phycocyanin by WQC volunteers using NAI purchased/maintained meters and test kits.

Communication of the findings garnered through these efforts is accomplished by:

  1. Public education and outreach meetings, including presentations made by professional lake and watershed managers
  2. Hands-on learning events, including programs targeting the community’s youth
  3. Reports and articles shared via the NAI website
  4. WQC newsletters and social media postings
  5. Participation in NALMS symposia and NJ Coalition of Lakes meetings.

Forty years of data confirm the efforts of the NAI and the WQC have significantly improved the lake’s quality, making them worthy of this award.

Secchi Disk Award

Award recognizes an individual member considered to have contributed the most to the achievement of NALMS’ goal.

Ann Shortelle
Nominated by Lisa Borre, Ann St. Amand, Julie Chambers, and Erich Marzolf

We nominate Dr. Ann Shortelle for the NALMS Secchi Disk Award for her contributions to the goals and objectives of NALMS, namely to forge partnerships that actively enhance the protection and better management of lakes. The key words here to understand Ann are partnership and protection.

Ann has been active in NALMS for well over 30 years! She has served in multiple administrative and technical roles over the years on committees and the Board of Directors. She has served extensively at both the state level (Florida Lake Management Society, a NALMS affiliate), and the national level in many different capacities (Region 4 Director, President Elect, President and Past President to name just a few). Ann has also published in the Journal of Lake and Reservoir Management and Lakeline. Always, she has embodied the mission and spirit of NALMS. And although she has brought this same approach to the leadership of NALMS, forging partnerships that actively enhance the protection and better management of lakes, it’s her dedication to mentoring and embracing students who ultimately form the future of NALMS that defines her. As a young grad student, and later a professional, many of us experienced her enthusiasm for encouraging students and young professional women to form life-long relationships within NALMS, and to stay active in NALMS and lake management ourselves. That includes an occasional, well-placed kick in the butt from time to time.

Ann is an outgoing people person. You know when she’s in the room: listening to others and seeking common ground and purpose. From her decades in the consulting world, to Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection Office of Water Policy, or as Executive Director for both the Suwannee and St. Johns River Water Management Districts, Ann is always listening for opportunities to build common interest into common purpose and then into collaboration that benefits water resources.

One colleague described her approach as follows: make a new relationship, implement a project together, turn the crank, move the needle, strengthen the relationship, crank out another project, push the needle further — repeat, rinse, repeat. Get up early, build a new partnership. It’s a relentless small ball that keeps rolling and advancing water resource protection.

Protection requires you know what you are doing and that you’ve done your homework and lab work to understand the threats to water resources. Ann knows what will benefit a water resource versus what might look good for a moment.

Ann can often be heard saying, “Let’s see your data, show me how this will work, don’t make me call BS.”

Ann’s decades of private sector experience on water projects and running a water quality laboratory means that she knows when your assumptions are weak, your budget looks insufficient, and when to say, “We need another partner for this project.”

Finally, celebrate your successes enthusiastically, with your partners, and a pint. Rinse and Repeat, “WOOHOO!”

There are water resource projects all over Florida that have Ann’s input, multi-agency, multi-million dollar projects, simple but effective projects with a local farmer that makes the operation more water and nutrient efficient or work with a utility to be efficient or find an alternative water source, each advancing the protection of someone’s favorite lake, river or spring. She has also left her mark on NALMS encouraging other women to put themselves in leadership roles and dedicating herself to students and bringing them into the fold. Ann is very deserving of the Secchi Disk award.