Seaplane Landing Ordiance Passes

In a public meeting held on June 17, the town of Kent became the third of the three Lake Waramaug towns to vote in favor of an ordinance prohibiting the landing of seaplanes on the lake. Washington and Warren had approved the ordinance on May 19.

The ordinance provides for a $250 fine for any landing on or takeoff from the lake. It will take effect fifteen days after proper public notification according to Connecticut General Statutes. The first selectmen of the three towns are directed to inform the FAA and all appropriate pilots' associations of the ordinance.

The Lake Waramaug Task Force, along with other environmental organizations, strongly supported the ordinance due to the threat that seaplanes could introduce destructive invasive species into the lake waters. The ordinance includes the following clause addressing the environmental concern: "Cognizant of the unavoidable danger of contamination of the Lake by aircraft from other water bodies which would compromise the many year undertaking to preserve the quality of the water of Lake Waramaug from invasive species and other pollutants...."  More information on the ordinance here.

LWTF Spring 2016 Development Statement

Development near Lake Waramaug and in its watershed has been in a mini boom over the past two years. New homes and new landscaping plans are dotting the shoreline and surrounding hills. New neighbors are invigorating our community and enjoying the Lake. Growth is good. But unless development plans incorporate up to date best practices for water quality protection such growth threatens to diminish the work the Lake Waramaug Task Force, and the community in general, has done over the past 40 years to keep the Lake healthy.   Read more here . 

Zooplankton Project Awarded

(Above) Robert Nicholas (left), president of the Harcourt Foundation, presents the grant check to LWTF Chair Molly Hart & Exec.Director Tom McGowan.

Harcourt Foundation Grant

A cutting-edge LWTF plan to stimulate the growth of Zooplankton in Lake Waramaug has been awarded a $7,500 grant by the Ellen Knowles Harcourt Foundation based in New Milford, CT. The experimental project, which could result in significant benefits to water quality and clarity for lakes everywhere, was brought to the Task Force by its chief limnologist, Dr. Robert Kortmann. The idea emerged from discussions that evolved after the Task Force's land-based Hypolymnetic Withdrawal System on Arrow Point was retired in May 2015 in favor of two new in-lake Layer Aeration systems. The old structure consisted of a large concrete basin with four chambers that aerated water before returning it to the lake. Dr. Kortmann determined that the facility provided a unique opportunity to experiment with the cultivation of zooplankton, tiny organisms that feed on algae and are therefore beneficial to water quality.

(Another LWTF initiative, the stocking of the lake with brown trout, also benefits zooplankton by reducing the population of their predator, alewives.)

The LWTF Executive Director Tom McGowan and board member Dan Scherr produced a grant application stressing the innovative nature of the plan and the potential for broader application if successful. The Harcourt Foundation responded quickly with the grant and its president, Bob Nicholas, delivered a check personally to the LWTF Board on January 25. The grant will offset the planning and initial development costs to modify the Arrow Point basin.