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Sebago Clean Waters


About Sebago Clean Waters

Sebago Clean Waters seeks to protect water quality, community well-being, and the health of fish and wildlife in the Sebago watershed through voluntary forestland conservation and community engagement. The Sebago Clean Waters partners are committed to a healthy Sebago Lake Watershed that provides countless benefits to watershed residents, visitors, and downstream water users. We recognize the important role that forests play in producing clean water and emphasize forestland conservation to maintain the excellent water quality of Sebago Lake and the many lakes, ponds and streams that flow into it. The partnership includes Loon Echo Land Trust, Western Foothills Land Trust, Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, Highstead Foundation, Open Space Institute, Portland Water District, The Nature Conservancy, and The Trust for Public Land. Sebago Clean Waters is an innovative new initiative that seeks to accelerate the pace of forest conservation and water protection in the Sebago Lake region of Maine. With a new investment by the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program, Sebago Clean Waters seeks an accomplished, entrepreneurial conservation professional to advance the initiative, working with a strong, established partnership and a clear vision

Summary of Consulting Opportunity                                                                             

The selected consultant thrives on challenges, has excellent project management skills, can deliver on deadline, and has experience engaging and encouraging diverse stakeholders to work together to achieve significant results. The consultant will:

  1. Guide a two-and-a-half-year process to design and establish a watershed investment fund that will build local support for conservation projects in the Sebago Lake Watershed. U. S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, which manages the partnership

  2. Manage the Sebago Clean Waters partnership and coordinate its working groups, which currently consist of governance/operations, conservation finance mechanisms, communications, land trust capacity building, and conservation prioritization.

  1. Work collaboratively with the Sebago Clean Waters steering committee to accomplish the deliverables outlined below.

 Primary Contract Tasks and Responsibilities                                                                               

  1. Lead development and coordinate implementation of the partnership’s multi-year work plan and budget.

  2. Establish and utilize a cooperative framework for tracking and managing the multi-year work plan among partner organizations.

  3. Work with partners to transform an economics impact study into a business case for natural infrastructure investments.

  4. Lead development of messaging and materials--based on diverse conservation priorities--that will compel water stakeholders to engage and invest in the initiative.

  5. Foster relationships with local and regional businesses, municipalities, and consumers.

  6. Produce an assessment of legal, financial, and governance options for launching a dedicated fund to protect forests for drinking water.

  7. Develop a business plan for a dedicated fund to support land conservation in the Sebago Lake Watershed.

  8. Support partners in their collective fundraising to capitalize the water fund;

  9. Provide opportunities for information exchange between partners, as well as with external audiences.

  10. Coordinate and support land trust partners in their landowner outreach, community engagement, and conservation projects.

An Ideal Consultant Will Demonstrat the Following Experience and Personal Traits

  1. Be located in the Sebago Watershed or the Greater Portland region.
  2. Appropriate education and work experience that indicates a readiness to be immediately effective.

  3. Ability to coordinate and leverage the expertise of non-profit partners of different types and capacities, and local municipal and business partners;

  4. Proven experience in building relationships with businesses, foundations, and philanthropists;

  5. Experience managing complex, decentralized programs with diverse, multiple partners;

  6. Ability to be flexible and ingenious in the face of ambiguity;

  7. Demonstrated success working independently with little day to day supervision.

In addition, the following specific expertise is desirable:

  1. Advanced financial literacy and fund management experience

  2. Experience with economics of land use and conservation

Scope, Responsibility and Oversight                                                                       

The consultant will have access to expertise and practical support through our partners, including best practices for water fund development, conservation finance mechanisms, and donor cultivation. The consultant will represent the initiative within the bounds of a scope of work, co-developed with and overseen by Highstead and the governance committee of Sebago Clean Waters. The scope of work will be revised and the contract will be renewed annually, contingent on satisfactory delivery.


We seek a consultant prepared to make a multi-year commitment to helping us launch this long-term initiative. Funds from a grant to Highstead on behalf of the partnership are currently available for 2.5 years. We will offer competitive consulting compensation based on terms negotiated in a Scope of Work, to be renewed annually. We will reimburse for mileage and other travel expenses.

To Apply                                                                                                                           

Please submit a letter stating your interest and relevant experience, along with your résumé and names of 2-3 references to: Spencer Meyer, Senior Conservationist, Highstead Foundation:
We will begin reviewing proposals immediately and the opportunity will remain open until a suitable consultant is identified. For more information, visit