The Greensboro Association has been awarded a nearly $22,000 grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program that will allow for the creation and maintenance of a decontamination station to be located at the Caspian Lake boat launch area. The station will provide hot, pressurized water to clean watercraft before entering the lake, preventing the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) into Caspian Lake. This decontamination station will enhance the already successful Greeter Program that the Association helps staff each season. This generous grant is supported by an additional $4000 from the Greensboro Association’s Lake Reserve Fund.
“We have been fortunate to have maintained enough protection to keep Caspian free of known invasives to date,” says Stew Arnold, GA Caspian Lake Protection Chair. “Milfoil fragments can be found by inspection yet more of the invasive species are microscopic in nature thus our protection will be greatly enhanced by the decontamination station.”
Caspian Lake is one of the most pristine lakes in Vermont, and its watershed is at the headwaters of the Lamoille River Basin, which feeds into the Lake Champlain Basin. The Greensboro Association and local community have supported programs to stop the spread of AIS for over 50 years, and participated in AIS prevention and identification training, the Vermont Invasive Patrollers Program, and the VT Public Access Greeter Program since their inception. In addition, the GA has been conducting water quality sampling for over 30 years, monitoring tributaries for the past 5 years, and participating in Loon Nesting Conservation for 7 years. Caspian Lake Greeters inspect 1200-1600 watercraft each year at the boat launch, and will now be able to direct risky watercraft to this new station instead of sending boat owners 30-45 minutes away to properly decontaminate their boats. Many of those boats come from Lake Champlain or Lake Memphremagog basin lakes, which are considered vector lakes for AIS. The addition of this new decontamination station will help ensure that Caspian Lake remains free of AIS for many years to come.
Stew Arnold reports, “Plans have the decontamination station built in the second half of this coming Spring and fully operational by the Summer season start in June.”