2019 Lake Attitash Lovers New Year’s Resolutions!
This is going to be a Happy New Year for Lake Attitash!
This year we are going to get an amazing gift. Our lake is scheduled to receive a $600,000 alum treatment in early spring, thanks to a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, fundraising from the LAA membership and support from Amesbury and Merrimac. This treatment will seal the excess nutrients that have accumulated in the sediment in the deepest parts of the lake. Shallow areas, less than 11 feet deep, will not receive the treatment as it would be too easily disturbed by boat activity.
We can all do our part in to insure the success of this once-in-a-lifetime gift. We can commit to minimizing the flow of nutrients into the lake though storm water runoff and soil erosion as much as possible. What we do on our property around the lake and in the watershed has a huge impact on the water quality in Lake Attitash.
Here are 10 simple ways that we can make a difference!
1) Fertilizer use: Go Wild! Go Natural! If you must use fertilizer, first complete a soil test to determine exactly what is needed and then applying it only what is prescribed. Visit UMASS at: https://ag.umass.edu/services/soil-plant-nutrient-testing-laboratory/ordering-information-forms for reliable soil testing. Soil testing can help you save time and money. Remember phosphorous us public enemy #1 for our lake.
- Pick up after your pets. Poop is loaded with nutrients that feed plants and harmful algae blooms. It is also a source of bacteria, creating a significant public health hazard.
3) Protect the shoreline from storm water run-off. If you see gullies or washouts after heavy rain this means that storm water loaded with nutrients and pollutants is running unfiltered into the lake and eroding soil into the lake. Contact the LAA for assistance regarding good solutions. Lakeattitash.org
4) Plant native plants along your shoreline to absorb nutrients before they can enter the water. Plants along the bank can also dissuade Canada Geese from the area.
5) If you are disturbing the soil within 25′ of wetland or shoreline contact your conservation agent for advice on how to protect the lake.
6) Clean up your shoreline regularly. Do what you can to reduce the amount of decaying weeds, leaves, and trash that bring additional nutrients and pollutants into our water. Clean up your shoreline regularly. Do what you can to reduce the amount of decaying weeds, leaves and trash that bring additional nutrients and pollutants into our water.
7) If you maintain a compost pile make sure it as least 25′ away from the edge of your wetland or shore.
8) Check on any catch basins or storm drains near you. If they need maintenance contact the Amesbury or Merrimac Public Works Departments and ask them to clean them out.
9) Keep an eye out for drains that appear to be blocked and report them to the appropriate Public Works Department. We need to prevent storm water runoff from going directly into the lake bringing those nutrients and pollutants with it.
10) Last but not least…. if you are a boat owner always respect the speed limits, other boaters and our shoreline. Reduce speed in shallow areas near the shore. Your wake erodes shorelines and disturbs the sediment, allowing the release of the nutrients that have accumulated there into the water column. These nutrients, notably phosphorous, feed the weeds and algae.
Enjoy the New Year, and let’s all make it a happy and healthy year on Lake Attitash.
This project has been partially funded with Federal Funds from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection under an s. 319 competitive grant.