Dear Friends of Lake Attitash,


Congratulations to all of us who contributed time or money to the alum grant effort!

On Wednesday November 29th the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection announced the awards for the s.319 grant program and Lake Attitash is one of nine projects they are funding this year…and by far the most extensive / expensive! The City of Amesbury will receive $352,000 from MADEP. Those funds, along with the $50,000 that was raised by all of you, and with the funds committed by the City of Amesbury and the Town of Merrimac, we have reached the goal of almost $600,000! Amazing!

The $600,000 is the estimated cost of a one-time alum treatment (a 2 day project) that will seal the excess nutrients, notably phosphorus, into the sediment of the lake. This effectively prevents the nutrients from entering the water column to feed the algae that cause the hazardous cyanobacteria blooms. The scientists predict that this treatment will give us clearer and safer water for over 15 years.

A great big THANK YOU goes out to the Board of Directors and volunteers of the Lake Association, to all of you who donated, to Senator O’Connor Ives, Representative Kelcourse, Representative Mirra, Merrimac Selectman Andrew Connor and former Merrimac Selectman Harold Lloyd, Amesbury Mayor Ken Gray, City Councillor Joe McMilleon, and to Amesbury Director of Public Works Rob Desmarais (who did a superb job of completing the grant application) for making this happen.

A big thank you also goes to Dr. Ken Wagner of Water Resource Services, Inc for providing us with the sound scientific recommendations and reports based on extensive research and testing conducted at the lake.  Dr. Wagner’s reports provided the science for the grant application. Clearly the MADEP agreed with his science!

What happens next??

  • The State has to complete its contracting process so that the funds can be accessed by the City of Amesbury. The grant was awarded late and so it is unclear at this time when the funds will be available.
  • The City of Amesbury has to obtain the necessary permits through the local Conservation Commissions. This too can be an unpredictable process.
  • The alum treatment is most effective if it is done in the early Spring and so it is most likely that the treatment will take place in Spring 2019. This was always a possibility.

We will keep you posted as we learn more.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead