The Waterford Township Board of Trustees has agreed to proceed with a proposed aquatic weed and plant control program for Crescent Lake riparians, beginning in 2012.
About 60 percent of Crescent Lake residents signed petitions asking the township to establish a special assessment district (SAD) to fund the program based on a lake study conducted in 2009.
“It just goes to show that if an association continues to band together and not give up in the quest to improve their lake, they will prevail,” said Lakeshore Environmental, Inc. Water Resources Director Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones.
LEI consultants delineated several management strategies in tandem with a cost estimate for a five-year treatment program.
The study reports that two invasive weed species — Eurasian watermilfoil and phragmites — threaten the biodiversity of the lake’s submersed native aquatic communities; threaten navigation and recreational activities; decrease property values; and harbor bacteria and other nuisance algae that do not benefit the lake’s ecosystem. Approximately 25 acres of the lake have been infiltrated by Eurasian watermilfoil, while 5 acres have been infiltrated by phragmites.
LEI recommends that either spot-treatments with aquatic herbicides or a weevil biological control — or a combination of both — be used to treat the exotic weed species within and around the lake.
Recently, more data has been acquired that suggests laminar flow aeration, a new technology that aerates sediment, could be leveraged as an alternative to herbicides in shallow areas and canals.
“It has been very successful in reducing organic matter while eradicating Eurasian milfoil and algae,” Jermalowicz-Jones said. “It’s one more tool in the tool box.”
Unlike many aquatic invasive species eradication proposals, there are no plans to harvest Eurasian watermilfoil in Crescent Lake.
“It would be a mistake because the plant tends to fragment. It was tried before and went under the culvert and into Elizabeth Lake,” Jermalowicz-Jones said.
Total program costs are pegged at $115,631, resulting in a total assessment of $1,271 for each individual lakefront parcel over the five-year period.
A public hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 12 as the next step in the SAD process.