Lake Attitash is our shared community space and we all need to contribute.
The Lake Attitash Association (LAA) relies on the support of people who are willing to step up and pay for what needs to be done to care for the lake. Give as much as you can. Large or small, any donation is needed and used to benefit the lake.
Please consider a tax-deductible donation
LAA is a non-profit corporation. It owns no property, has no employees and accomplishes its mission through the work of volunteers, membership fees and donations. The association gratefully accepts financial donations of any amount to help defray the costs of protecting and improving Lake Attitash. The LAA is registered as a 501(c)(3) organization with the Internal Revenue Service and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, so your donations are tax-deductible to the full extent
Donating is easy. You can donate on line or mail a check to the association. Click here to donate now Either way, your contributions will go directly to benefiting Lake Attitash. The Lake Attitash Association is an all-volunteer organization and has no paid employees. Shortly after you make your donation, you will receive an acknowledgement letter documenting the amount and its tax-deductible status.
Please donate now. The fight against invasive weeds and cyanobacteria cannot wait. Invasive milfoil weeds threaten the lake.
The costs of these projects are high, but the costs of waiting or doing nothing are even higher. Click here to donate now
Why your continued financial help is needed
Milfoil & other invasive weeds
The Lake Attitash Association needs ongoing financial support to manage the growth of invasive plants – primarily milfoil, curlyleaf pondweed and water chestnuts. LAA conducted a major fund raising campaign in 2011 and, with financial assistance from both Amesbury and Merrimac the whole lake (365 acres) was treated for invasive weeds in 2012. Since that time, the LAA has managed to control regrowth using hand-pulling, Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting and spot treatment in small areas of dense regrowth.
Each year there is some regrowth of Milfoil and based on findings of the volunteer weedwatchers, a small portion of the lake is retreated each year to keep the spread of Milfoil under control LAA weed watchers and the lake management company continue to survey after treatment and does not typically see significant regrowth later in the season. Volunteers who annually pull water chestnuts in Back River have been finding little or no regrowth after many years of vigilant hand pulling. Although native plants can reach nuisance levels, native plants are not targeted by these efforts and annual vegetative surveys indicate a healthy range of native plant growth.
Milfoil was probably carried from other lakes to Lake Attitash on boats and trailers. If allowed to spread unchecked, milfoil would in a few years choke off sunlight that creates oxygen for fish and make swimming, boating and fishing nearly impossible. Meadowbrook is a vivid example of what Lake Attitash would become without vigilant invasive weed management.
Cyanobacteria (also called blue-green algae)
Cyanobacteria is a health hazard at high levels (blooms) and a major threat to water quality in Lake Attitash. The algae blooms are the result of high levels of nutrients, primarily phosphorus, that have built up over the years in the sediment. Lake Attitash is a secondary water supply to Amesbury residents, and Amesbury conducts weekly testing for e-coli and cyanobacteria levels. In many summers the cyanobacteria count has exceeded the limit in early August and when that happens, a caution against contact with the water is posted until the levels come down or are continued through the end of the season. Testing typically ends after Labor Day.
In early 2015 and 2016, after several years of study, LAA hired Dr. Ken Wagner, a nationally recognized expert in cyanobacteria to give recommendations regarding how best to mitigate the cyanobacteria blooms that plague the lake. After completing testing in 2015 Dr. Wagner made several recommendations, (Click here to download “Development of a Management Plan for Lake Attitash, Amesbury and Merrimac, Massachusetts” by Dr. Wagner) the most feasible being a one-time alum treatment at a projected cost of $604,843. The LAA also learned that the City of Amesbury would be eligible to apply for a s.319 grant through the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and that the only recommendation the Mass DEP could consider would be the one-time alum treatment.
In order to apply, the Lake Association had to find 40% of the total cost of the project. The Lake Association launched a massive fund raising campaign. Between August 2016 and May 2017 the LAA succeeded in meeting that goal – $241,937! It was an enormous challenge that required great optimism and perseverance!
- LAA donors raised $50,000 – they are listed and thanked on our donor page. One family pledged an $10,000 and their generosity is greatly appreciated.
- Amesbury City Council pledged $128,667
- Merrimac committed $63,270
The City of Amesbury submitted the grant application in early June 2017, and was awarded the grant at the end of 2017. Treatment is to begin in the spring of 2019.
The Search for Grants
LAA has an excellent history of working with Amesbury and Merrimac to obtain MADEP grants. Grant funded storm water management work all around the watershed has been extensive over the past 15 years. Sadly this is the last year that Lake Attitash will be eligible for s.319 grants.
There are no grants that we have been able to find that will pay for invasive weed management. We keep looking.
Thank you in advance
To thank donors, the Lake Attitash Association has established classifications for donation levels. If you make a donation, your name will appear on the list of donors in the appropriate class. (Please notify us if you’d rather be listed as “Anonymous.”)
Will your employer match donations?
Many employers have programs for matching donations by employees to worthy organizations. Please ask your employer’s human resources department whether your employer has a matching gift program. If your employer has a program and the Lake Attitash Association is an eligible recipient, the human resources department can tell you how to have your contribution matched.
Questions about donating?
If you have any questions about donating, please contact the association.
Membership in LAA
The Association board asks you to maintain your membership in the Association. Membership is annual and renewable each January. This modest amount keeps you connected to the Association and enables you to receive regular updates that are of importance to lake residents. Join or Renew Your Membership