September 15, 2023 at 1:41 am #51058Rea ThornberryKeymaster
Riga Environmental Stewardship Committee: Autumn Newsletter
Hello all! We’re happy to deliver the first of our seasonal newsletters to come, which has also been made available via the Riga chat group. In brief and Riga-loving fashion, each newsletter will provide important and helpful info, tips, events, and outcomes of our work to protect the mountain.
Top of the list currently: invasive species, two new water sensors, and Riga’s water quality.
Invasive Aquatics: CT River Hydrilla
Connecticut river hydrilla (an aggressive, easily spreading invasive) has been found in Twin Lakes, making it even more imperative that we remain vigilant in excluding off-mountain watercraft and flotations.
This plant is extremely difficult to remove once introduced. Small particles (akin to grains of rice) easily fragment and flow with currents and turbulence, allowing new mats to form wherever they go. The only 100% effective method of prevention is to eliminate contact with invaded waters entirely.
So far we are hydrilla free. Our resolve and persistence will keep it that way!
Our new water sensors are in the lakes! Yay! They are located at the deepest points of both lakes, suspended from a black buoy (image attached). Please do not touch, tie off, tamper or tango with either!
The sensors provide us with ongoing temperature measurements that are a big step forward in understanding lake dynamics throughout the year. A huge thank you to all involved!
Water quality, clarity, and color – all related, yet each have their nuance in describing the conditions of the lake. Due to the high inputs of rainfall this year, sediments flowing in from the watershed noticeably decreased the water clarity, while changing the color. Generally, the brown hues are indicative of material transported in from the forest- bits of bark, soil, leaves, etc.- while green points to algae. Weather patterns naturally change the color of lakes on a seasonal basis and local environmentalists noted similar changes in other lakes as well.
However this particular event highlights an important conversation.
The quality of Riga lakes is declining year after year. This decline is evident in the higher concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorous with a long-term decline in clarity. Once nutrients enter a lake, they do not leave, but become incorporated each season through the sediment. While this is a natural process that occurs over a great length of time, the rate of change at Riga lakes is rapid and concerning.
Please do not introduce any substance or material to the lakes or their tributaries: No grass clippings, soaps, food scraps or refuse- you name it.
We are all committed to keeping our lakes pristine! To learn more about lake health please take a few minutes to read the most current lake study report, attached.
Appreciate your time everyone! More to come later this season.
If you are looking for a more in depth conversation, I’m happy to facilitate. Please contact me at [email protected].September 15, 2023 at 1:56 am #51063Rea ThornberryKeymaster
Well, the two files are too large to upload here. If you are not on the Riga group chat list and would like to receive them, please contact me directly. I’ll be out of town for a few days but can send them as soon as I return!
Endeavor to persevere 🙂 ha!
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