Old Lyme to study plans to control pervasive weeds on Rogers Lake

Old Lyme - Plans are moving forward for a study on how to control pervasive weeds in Rogers Lake, the 260-acre body of water between Old Lyme and Lyme.

The $88,000 project would include analysis of previous data on Rogers Lake, the evaluation and mapping of plants in the lake and the development of a protocol to monitor water quality. The study will also assess the potential impacts of herbicides on human health and wildlife.

The study will weigh chemical and non-chemical options in terms of their price, effectiveness, and the time and permitting required, as well as other factors. Presentations to town residents and commissions would also be made.

Ultimately, management and maintenance plans will be developed for the lake by next spring.

New England Environmental, a firm with offices in Middlefield and Amherst, Mass., will act as the consultant for the study.

The towns of Lyme and Old Lyme had formed a joint committee in November 2013 to devise a new plan for controlling the aquatic weeds in the lake: variable milfoil, fanwort and southern naiad. Town officials said the weeds continued to grow, even as the towns applied organic treatment options, from suction harvesting to benthic mats, to control the weeds.

Old Lyme residents will vote on approving an additional $30,000 for the study at a special town meeting, tentatively scheduled for July 29. The town has already set aside $15,000 in its 2014-15 budget for the study, but the exact cost of the study was set after Old Lyme had already presented its budget.

Old Lyme will confirm the date and set an agenda for the town meeting - which will also include the acceptance of a land parcel off of Halls Road from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and possibly other items- at a later Board of Selectmen meeting.

The town of Lyme included funds for its share of the study in its 2014-15 budget.

The towns have also applied for a $148,000 Small Town Economic Assistance Program grant, which would not only cover the cost of the project, but also a watershed study of the area.

k.drelich@theday.com

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