Invasive Milfoil Found in Annabessacook, Could Spread to Cobbosse...
In 2014, an aggressive invasive aquatic plant called variable milfoil was discovered at the boat launch in Annabessacook Lake. Since then, the Annabessacook Lake Improvement Association (ALIA), the Cobbossee Watershed District (CWD) and the Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed (FOCW) have worked with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to locate the invasive plants and prevent them from spreading. BUT THE PROBLEM IS GROWING.
If not taken care of, variable milfoil:
- · Spreads and grows quickly, forming thick mats
- · Is difficult to get rid of once established.
- · Has no natural enemies, pathogens, or diseases to keep it in check.
- · Grows in shallow areas to 15’ in depth.
- · Reduces recreational opportunities and property values.
- · Can impact businesses that rely on a clean, healthy lake.
The Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed is launching a 3-year campaign to exponentially increase local efforts to:
- REMOVE invasive variable milfoil.
- SURVEY vulnerable areas of both lakes.
- EDUCATE the public.
This work will take an estimated $250,000 during the 2018-2020 project period.
YEAR 1 - 2018 Milfoil Action Plan:
- Remove variable milfoil from Annabessacook Lake. A professional milfoil removal company will be hired for 6 weeks.
- Look for variable milfoil in Annabessacook & Cobbossee. A two-person team will train volunteers and lead a survey of Jug Stream and all vulnerable areas of Cobbossee Lake, as well as work with ALIA and CWD in the annual survey of Annabessacook Lake.
- Engage and Empower shorefront property owners to prevent & spot variable milfoil. Lake Ambassadors will go dock-to-dock and door-to-door educating shorefront property owners about variable milfoil and listening to their concerns.
- Educate the Public: The Friends will place a strong emphasis on invasive aquatic species in all existing educational efforts performed in local schools, camps, and public events. Public workshops will be held to provide milfoil identification and plant survey training, as well as progress updates.
We need ALL shorefront property owners, businesses, and people who use and love these lakes to participate in this project.
Boats, equipment, and services needed… Want to join the effort? We have several needs for equipment and services to make this project happen!
- Housing for up to six weeks for milfoil removal crew (3 crew members, Monday night through Wednesday night).
- Kayaks & paddles for survey team.
- Business sponsorships for printing outreach materials.
- Survey volunteers (training provided).
- Project update meeting hosts—We would love to come to your home/camp on Annabessacook or Cobbossee and talk with your road or camp association about this project and how you can get involved.
Funding is CRITICAL to the success of this project! Please give generously!
Checks, made out to Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed (FOCW), with C.A.M.P. in the memo, can be sent via the remittance envelope enclosed, to PO Box 5003, Augusta ME 04332. All donations will be placed in a dedicated fund for the Cobbossee/Annabessacook Milfoil Project (C.A.M.P.), and are tax deductible as allowed by law.
NOW is the time to act on this serious threat to our lakes!
We can’t do it without YOU!