Invasive Species Defense Fund

The Milfoil is Coming, The Milfoil is Coming

The threat of an invasion of Variable Milfoil or another invasive species is frightening.  The Directors of GELIA and our committed members are doing everything possible to avoid this catastrophe.  We have a very strong Weed Watcher’s Program with about 50 detectives, have applied for and received grants to staff the boat launch with Lake Hosts since 2002 and are monitoring any legislation involving the preservation of our lake.

However, none of this can guarantee that we will be spared. In 2006, one variable-leaf milfoil plant was found within 100 yards of the boat launch on Great East.  The plant was pulled and no new plants have been found, so we are hopeful that we won’t have another occurrence.  But with both Belleau Lake and Balch Pond, right here in our neighborhood, infested with milfoil, we remain concerned.  While the states and towns are willing to help with remediation they cannot cover the costs of acting quickly and completely enough to contain the weeds. ONCE IT TAKES HOLD IN A WATERBODY, MILFOIL CANNOT BE ERADICATED, ONLY CONTROLLED.  THE EXPENSE OF THIS CONTROL IS ASTRONOMICAL AND NOT DOING IT WOULD BE DISASTROUS.  STUDIES SHOW THAT A MILFOIL INFESTATION CAN REDUCE A PROPERTY VALUE BY AS MUCH AS 15%!  Certainly none of us are willing to risk that, not to mention that our lake would be unswimable, unboatable and generally unpleasant.

In view of the current situation, the GELIA Board of Directors voted in 2003 to establish a new fund designated strictly for the treatment and control of an invasive species infestation, should an outbreak occur.  We are asking you for a separate donation, apart from your annual dues, to fund this program.  We have no immediate plans to use the funds but want to be prepared to act instantly in the event of a problem.


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