Department or Program

Environmental Studies


Humans have long negatively impacted the environment but within the last 100 years, there has come a new, very visible issue affecting recreational bodies of water in Maine; invasive species. Invasive species are plants or animals that have been brought to a place they are not native to by humans, and often devastate the new ecosystem. This is one of the greatest threats to Little Sebago Lake and many other bodies of water throughout New England. The invasive species of Variable Leaf Milfoil has infested Little Sebago for almost twenty years with no hope of ever totally removing it. Milfoil is an aquatic plant that is spread through human actions, mostly recreational ones. This threat against Maine’s natural resources exposes the underlying issues centered around our views of wilderness and natural spaces. However, invasive species are not the only change humans have caused to the lake. By forgetting the expansive history of human contact with nature, we forget our role in the environment as a whole and therefore the very creation of “wilderness” in places like Maine. We must understand and take responsibility for our actions which affect these natural resources as well as the history of manipulation of said natural spaces. In this thesis I will explain why invasive species are so detrimental to recreational resources like Little Sebago Lake and explore the residents’ ideology and views of the lake. I will prove how the history of wilderness ideology has changed therefore causing the history of human creation of these natural spaces to be forgotten and argue that in order to protect the natural environment we enjoy we must understand our role and take responsibility in its creation, shaping, and future.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Tyler Harper

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Open Access

Available to all.