Despite Chebacco Lake being a Great Pond owned by the Commonwealth, with 3,000 lakes in Massachusetts, the state is unable to provide case by case watershed stewardship for more than a handful of watersheds. Instead, governmental oversight falls to local boards and commissions — 10 agencies in Essex and Hamilton alone, and 20 across the four towns overlapping with the watershed!

Watershed property owners, lake lovers, and nonprofits like the Chebacco Lake & Watershed Association play a crucial role in filling that gap by building community and coalitions for collaboration and coordinated stewardship.