Sadawga Lake Association in Whitingham has received two grants to pursue a process for mitigating milfoil infestation in its lake. The grants will fund a plant survey of milfoil to be conducted by Darrin Fresh Water Institute, with Larry Eichler as lead investigator. The first grant is from the State of Vermont Aquatic Nuisance Program for $1463 and the second is for $750 provided by the New England Grassroots Environment Fund, which energizes and nurtures long-term civic engagement in local initiatives. This fund uses stories, tools and dollars to fuel local activism and social change and funds nearly 150 grants annually to New England communities, including more than $4 million in 20 years to more than 2,000 community groups. (For more information please visit grassrootsfund.org or call 603-905-9915). Both grants will be administered by the Town of Whitingham whose Selectboard voted to support their submission and will review the findings from the plant study.
Sadawga Lake residents have raised concerns about the damaging effects of milfoil with the State of Vermont for the past decade. Two years ago, due to the effects of Tropical Storm Irene, the state drew down the lake in order to repair its dam. Residents have noted that the extent of milfoil may be lower after the draw down. The two grants will assist in establishing a baseline which will be used gauge the extent of milfoil in future years. The Darrin Water Institute will advise on procedures that can be used to reduce the extent of milfoil and promote native species that are beneficial to lake health. Already researchers have discovered plant species that are unique to Sadawga Lake and unknown in other Vermont lakes, according to state consultant Josh Mulhollem.
In May Sadawga Lake residents joined members of the Raponda Lake Greeter program in a workshop conducted by consultants from the State of Vermont to outline procedures for greeting boats at public boat launches. The purpose of the Greeter Program is to deter boaters from bringing invasive species in state lakes. Greeters inspect for plants and animals that may be attached to boats and trailers and advise boat owners about cleaning surfaces every time they enter state waters. Sadawga Lake Association is considering the implementation of this program.
Darrin Fresh Water Institute will initiate its study at Sadawga Lake on Thursday, August 2 with a rain date of August 3, 2018, with a report of results to follow.