Free Invasive Plant Patrol workshop, paddle offered July 19

Jul 09, 2018

Liberty — Maine waters are being invaded by non-native plants.

As with a serious illness, early detection is key; the earlier the introduced invader — such as Eurasian water-milfoil or zebra mussels — is detected, the greater the chances for finding an effective treatment and reducing the risk of spread.

With over 6,000 lakes and ponds, and thousands of miles of suitable stream habitat to be monitored for the presence of aquatic invaders on an ongoing basis, the challenge in Maine is enormous, according to Kerry Black of the Citizens Association for Liberty Lakes, and volunteer help is needed.

For those interested in reducing the spread of invasive plants, Lake Stewards of Maine is offering a free training workshop, Invasive Plant Patrol Plant Paddle, on Thursday, July 19, from 9 a.m. to noon at Marshall Shores (Liberty Town Beach), Lake St. George, in Liberty. The workshop is hosted by CALL (Citizens Association of Liberty Lakes).

The Invasive Plant Patrol Plant Paddle is a three-hour guided exploration that takes place on the shore and on the water. It's a fun, informal way to learn about the threat of aquatic invaders and the importance of early detection.

Participants will learn how to use their new (free!) Quick Key to help spot suspected invaders, become familiar with  local native aquatic plants, and practice skills needed to be an effective early detector. Participants must bring their own shallow draft boats (e.g., canoes, kayaks, inflatables) and a personal flotation device. Loaner boats may be available upon request.

All workshop participants receive a free identification guide and other reference materials. Complimentary pizza and drinks will be available after the program.

Preregistration is required. Contact Lake Stewards of Maine at steward@lakestewardsME.org or 207-783-7733 to register. For online registration and workshop schedule updates, visit mainevlmp.org/invasive-plant-patrol-workshops. Questions? Contact Kerry Black, 589-4033 or kerryjb65@gmail.com.

Lake Stewards of Maine provides all of its trainings free of charge to the public. IPP workshops are funded in large part by a grant from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection with funds generated by Maine Lake and River Protection Sticker Program. Additional support for the workshops comes from foundation grants, private donations, and the generosity of local sponsors.

Anyone interested in learning about aquatic invaders is welcome to participate in LSM’s free trainings. Those who wish to become active members of Maine's early detection team and to make a formal commitment to the statewide endeavor, are encouraged to become certified invasive plant patrollers.

Lake Stewards of Maine (formerly the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program) is the oldest, and one of the largest, statewide citizen-based lake monitoring programs in the nation. Through its internationally recognized Invasive Plant Patrol program, LSM has now trained over 3,500 plant patrollers in communities across the state of Maine.

For more information regarding Invasive Plant Patrol workshops, the threat of aquatic invaders, or Lake Stewards of Maine, contact Roberta Hill, Invasive Species Program director, Lake Stewards of Maine, 24 Maple Hill Road, Auburn, ME 04210, 207-783-7733, roberta@mainevlmp.org.

 

 

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