Lake Currents – September 2012
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This past month has been another eventful month for progress towards our goal of treating Lost Lake/Knops Pond to eliminate the current weed infestation and bring increasing awareness of the lakes to the wider community. MA Natural Heritage confirmed that we do not have an endangered weed, the Selectmen unanimously voted approval to send our Notice of Intent (NOI) to the Conservation Commission, and GLA participated in Grotonfest.
Massachusetts Natural Heritage Letter
The letter from Natural Heritage’s Endangered Species Program declaring our lakes free of a suspected rare plant has eased the requirements and expense to conduct a treatment program to eliminate the current infestation of non-native invasive weeds. It took a long time to prove our case, several thousand dollars for botanical surveys and eight years of limited activity to reduce our weed problems leading to our current crisis.
On September 4th, the Selectmen voted unanimously to send our Notice of Intent and Resource Management Plan to the Conservation Commission. The Selectmen complimented GLA on their diligence and thorough work to bring this program forward.
Conservation Commission Public Hearing
Our original public hearing scheduled for September 25th was continued to Tuesday evening October 9th at 7 PM at the Town Hall. This is an opportunity for all of you to come out to the hearing and voice your support for our plans to treat the lake for weeds. We expect there will be some opposition, and it is important for the Commissioners to hear your voices. Please come and support all the work that has brought us to this point to ensure we have a fair hearing.
Your GLA members and volunteers showed up in force Saturday September 22nd for a very successful effort to bring our lakes to the attention of the whole community. Our thanks to Marty O’Bryan who spearheaded the effort to organize this event, design a logo for the GLA and produce caps, t-shirts and hoodies with our logo on the front and a diagram on the back proclaiming “Don’t Lose Lost Lake and The Other Great Ponds of Groton”. These are available for purchase through the GLA. We had many interested visitors signing up for boat rides, sold memberships to GLA and answered questions the history, access and weed problems of the lakes.
Meet the Lakes Day
A lot of planning went into arranging boat captains, guides, ushers, refreshments and many other volunteers for our planned lake tours for Groton residents. The response to our flyer stuffed into our electric bills together with phone calls filled eighteen boatloads. The weather unfortunately turned inclement and the decision was made to postpone the day until next June. We wish to thank all the time and effort put in by volunteers and special thanks to Grotonwood and Bill Krueger for being so welcoming and helpful in our endeavor. We look forward to next year when we can offer a Meet the Lakes Day once again.
The Lost Lake/Knops Pond Sewerage Plan
The town meeting of October 15th presents another opportunity for all who are impacted by this project to attend and speak out before they vote. The newspaper accounts saying most residents in our area are against the project is not accurate. Is there a need for this project? There have numerous public hearings and discussion for all to decide. The documents and plans are readily available online. There are many small lots that have had either septic system failures or contaminated water supplies. This continued problem will only cost the individual homeowner future expenses through system failures, difficulty selling a property and potential health risks. Failed systems pour nutrients into our lakes that can feed and help support weed growth. Public water supplies downstream from our lakes are also at risk for contamination by an excess of these pollutants.
The solution to these problems has been avoided for too long. The current plan will go a long way towards correcting these problems, enhance the value of individual homes, reduce the nutrient flow onto our lakes and in the long term protect public water supplies. It is an expensive system, but doing nothing is not a good option.
We need to see voters go to this meeting and speak up and vote their choice at this very important meeting.
Resource Management Plan to Preserve and Protect Our Lake into the Future
We must all become familiar with the Resource Management Plan and take personal responsibility to do our part with our own property to begin implementing steps that will preserve and protect our lakes for future generations. Each waterfront resident is responsible for preventing storm water runoff from entering the waters. This can be done inexpensively through plantings and other means. I am including the link to a manual prepared for the State and written in layman’s language with ways you can help to protect our lakes on your own property http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/reg/MABufferManalMADEP.pdf.
I hope you will take some time to look at the relevant parts that you may want to adopt along your own shoreline.
A much larger effort will be employed to survey storm water runoff from roads, Sargisson Beach and other areas that impact the lake shores as well as storm water runoff within the lake’s vast watershed that contributes nutrients into the lakes.
The boat launch remains a major source of weed infestation. We must redouble our efforts to educate the public and support legislation to enforce the washing of boats, motors and trailers before and after launch.
Weed identification is also an important aspect of protecting our lakes from future infestations. We must be diligent in alerting GLA representatives to patches of weeds that survive the treatment planned for next spring. We will provide information on how to identify weeds that could present problems such as water chestnut in future newsletters. And next year we will have the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation teach their Weed Watcher program.
Finally, we support the reopening of Sargisson Beach and will continue to make efforts in that direction. Andrew Davis is working closely with the Conservation Commission, the Eagle Scout program and others to correct erosional problems and to seek funding to restore this area.
Baddacook and Whitney Ponds
In 2013 as we go forward with our treatment of Lost Lake/Knops Pond, we need to focus our attention on solving weed infestations on the other Great Ponds in Groton. Each of them will require different solutions. Aquatic Control Technology has performed Baseline Assessments and these reports are available under the Great Ponds Advisory Committee’s website:
Go to documents in upper right corner to see the reports.
Respectfully submitted by Alexander Woodle