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 and protect 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.
If you are making an RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) this year, you can make a donation to the Lake Attitash Association as part of your RMD and do not have to pay taxes on the amount you are donating. It counts against your RMD total but is not taxable. Click here for more information.
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
For those of us young at heart donors, over the age of 70 1/2, you can make a donation from your tax deferred investments that count towards your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) but is not taxable. Most individuals with tax deferred investments are required to make Required Minimum Distributions (RMD’s) when they reach the age of 70 1/2. According to the IRS, these individuals may be able to make a charitable contribution out of an IRA without paying taxes on the distribution, while counting towards IRA minimum required distributions. A good deal for you and for the Lake Association.
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 raise 40% ($240,000) 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
Amesbury City Council pledged $128,667
Merrimac committed $63,270