An Alien Invasive Species has recently been detected in Geneva Lake by the Director of the Geneva Lake Environmental Agency, Ted Peters. Identified as Starry Stonewort, this highly-aggressive, and rapidly-spreading macroalga is named after its small, white, star-shaped reproductive structures called “bulbils” that reside protectively down in the muck and sediment on the bottom. The plants sprout and grow through the sediment and, like weeds, form dense vegetative “mats” at the bottom. The mass of entangled algae then spring up and bloom into light green aquatic “meadows” on the lake surface in waters as deep as 20 feet. Tragically, the once-healthy ecosystem of that area of the lake is ravaged by the carpeting effect of Starry Stonewort that blocks sunlight and deprives native phytoplankton of the life-sustaining nutrients needed for the aquatic plants, animals and spawning fish. Plus, all human recreational activities previously enjoyed along the waterfront boating, swimming and fishing are made virtually impossible.
Ted Peters is sending urgent warnings to the entire Geneva Lake Community because he’s learned from its past history that once Starry Stonewort (SSW) gets established in a lake, it has never been able to be eradicated. That’s the bad news! The good news is that the only location where Ted Peters sighted the Starry Stonewort was in the Trinke Estates Lagoon. Because the infestation is transported by in-coming boats, Ted Peters and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Brad Wilson checked the areas around all the Municipal Boat-launch Ramps and found no indication Starry Stonewort had spread beyond the Trinke Lagoon location.
For that reason, we have a short window of opportunity to do no other lake community, of the nearly 400 contaminated American lakes, has done possibly exterminate this abominable invasive organism before it can become well-established and spoil the health, beauty, and vitality of the cherished Geneva Lake waters. To be successful, it’s going to take a determined effort and cooperation by the whole Geneva Lake Community. Ted Peters is appealing to the State of Wisconsin, which has unqualified title to (and ‘owns’) the “lake bed” of Geneva Lake, which happens to be the source of the infestation, yet the state is only willing to pay a portion of the costs. Also, all five municipalities around the lake are willing to help but say they too can’t afford the hefty costs. So that leaves it up to a willing public to be the heroes who save Geneva Lake from this “Infestation from Hell.”
For information and to get involved, contact Ted Peters, Geneva Lake Environmental Agency, https://www.genevalakemanagement.com/
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