The threat of invasive variable milfoil is still very much alive. In 2018, 7 Lakes Alliance’s milfoil crew and New England Milfoil removed 16,800 gallons of variable milfoil and are expecting similar conditions in 2019. The 7 Lakes Alliance crew snorkel miles of shoreline, haul thousands of pounds of milfoil, and work in waist deep muck to protect our lake from the damaging effects of invasive plants. Prevention is still the most critical and cost effective way to control invasive aquatic plants! Trained volunteers and staff survey the shoreline through our Adopt-A-Shoreline Program, and the Courtesy Boat Inspection program has 5 boat launches to catch potential new infestations. We did not find any new infestations in 2018 – and we will fight to keep it that way! However, the infestation in Great Meadow Stream is thriving, aided by low water levels and abundant sunshine. Our efforts aim to remove as much as possible and to contain and prevent the spread of the infestation.
Without these serious and ongoing removal efforts, the infestations likely would have doubled, or even tripled in size. In New England as well as our own Belgrade Lakes, there are numerous reminders that, without vigilance – invasives spread rapidly, ruining swimming, boating, wildlife habitat, and property values. We are analyzing results, working with DEP and other experts to develop the most impactful and cost effective approach to fight back against milfoil in 2019. Maine DEP, towns, local lake associations and other generous donors provide key support, including major funding from BLA’s Stop Milfoil Program, for 7 Lakes Alliance’s milfoil work.