As you may be aware, Little Sebago Lake has an infestation of invasive variable milfoil. This plant is not native to the lake and is taking over space from natural plant species. Its growth is rapid and voluminous with the potential for loss of recreational use, and property value decline.

The plant was discovered and verified in 2001. A study done by Maine Center for Invasive Aquatic Plants in 2003 determined the extent of growth to be more widespread than expected. LSLA has conducted volunteer hand removal projects and contacted lake groups and government agencies with similar plant invasions around the country. There are various approaches being used including hand removal, mats that rob the plant of sunlight, and suction dredging to remove plant and roots systems. Several groups having success employ teams of divers working continuously from May through August.

The issues with control techniques are manpower and cost. Equipment and material is expensive. Hiring full-time divers is very costly. Numerous public meetings and training on milfoil control are being offered to increase area awareness and support for the problem. LSLA has applied for and received non-profit status to improve our fundraising options in this effort. There is a lot at stake. Little Sebago use, property values, and area economy is at risk in addition to that of surrounding lakes if the plant is spread.

To address this issue we have developed some fundraising strategies. Our fundraising efforts have the sponsorship of a businessperson who has made a large contribution in addition to a match challenge of $25,000 to funds we can raise. We are conducting a silent auction and a lobster/shore dinner in conjunction with our LSLA annual meeting July 9 at AIMHI on Little Sebago to support this process.

The silent auction is on July 9 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. And the lobster bake is the following day on July 10 starting at 5 p.m. Tickets for that are available through calling Doug Burke at 428-3030.

Protecting the health of Maine lakes is a responsibility we all share. LSLA is a strong advocate in this duty, which provides benefits to all of us now and hopefully for generations to come.

Please join us in preserving the lake resource, preventing spread of the plant, and ensuring economic stability in the area by making a tax-deductible donation of a product or service to this cause. The value of your contribution and will be doubled by our match challenge.

Thank you for joining us in this effort.

Scott Lowell

LSLA President

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