No new infestations, but plenty of work to do!
Invasive variable milfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum) was identified in Great Pond in 2009. While no new infestations have been found since 2016, the fight against invasive aquatic plants remains as urgent as ever. Maine lakes are particularly vulnerable to invasive species due to warming temperatures, proximity to infrastructure, and the movement of people around water bodies. Adapting management methods to the changing environment is essential in removing existing infestations and preventing new ones.
Invasive plants like variable milfoil are well adapted to living in a wide range of environmental conditions and geographical areas, making it easy for them to take over native plants and reduce biodiversity very quickly. Due to its rapid growth rate of up to an inch a day, variable milfoil wreaks havoc on native ecosystems, blocking native plants from the sun, increasing debris on the lake bottom, decreasing oxygen levels, and creating “dead zones” where aquatic organisms cannot survive. The plants also provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes, inhibit recreational activities, and lower property values.
Recap of 2019
While early identification and prevention are our best tools against invasive aquatic plants like variable milfoil, removing existing infestations is critical to containing the spread and restoring ecosystem health. In 2019, we removed 28,480 gallons of invasive milfoil in Great Meadow Stream. We also worked in Belgrade Stream in collaboration with New Eng