Sunday, August 3, 2014

Maine Citizens Guide invaluable resource

Since 2009, the Maine Milfoil Initiative has fought to help prevent the spread of non-native variable leaf milfoil, manage its eradication, and study its effects on the ecology of Maine lakes. Now, after years of research, action, and outreach, the Initiative is gaining momentum with the publication of its Maine Citizens' Guide to Invasive Aquatic Plant Management.
The Maine Milfoil Initiative<> is a collaborative effort between Saint Joseph's College, the Lakes Environmental Association (Bridgton), Maine Congress of Lakes Associations (Belgrade), the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program, and nine lake associations, and is championed by Senator Susan Collins. Their goal is to stop the proliferation of non-native variable leaf milfoil—a dense growth in southern Maine's lakes that degrades the native habitat of fish and wildlife, and also acts as a breeding ground for mosquitos.

Recently released, the Initiative's Maine Citizens' Guide to Invasive Aquatic Plant Management<> is a free guide for anyone affected by or interested in managing, eradicating, and otherwise informing themselves and the public about invasive aquatic plant life. The guide provides information necessary to write and implement an action plan that effectively manages invasive plant infestations. It's a free, ready-to-use, nuts-and-bolts companion resource to assist lake groups in Maine and beyond.

The guide was written by aquatic plant biologist and project director Jacolyn Bailey, and Roberta Hill, aquatic ecologist and invasive species program director for the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program.

This guide, an invaluable, free resource, can go a long way to helping not only the ecology of Maine's lakes but also the state's economy, as invasive aquatic plant species affect the tourism, recreational, and fishing economies.

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