by steve petter • MPA board member
Each year, members donate more than $30K to the MPA to help protect Moose Pond from invasive species, monitor lake health, educate property owners on the dangers of phosphorus-laden runoff, and promote lake-friendly boating behavior.
The largest line item in our budget by far is the Courtesy Boat Inspector (CBI) Program. Through this program we pay the Lakes Environmental Association (LEA) more than $20K to recruit, train, deploy, and monitor the folks in the yellow shirts who inspect hundreds of boats each year. These inspections ensure all suspicious plant fragments are removed from boats and trailers before being launched into Moose Pond. In 2022, MPA donor dollars paid for 1,135 CBI hours at our two ramps; dozens of plant fragments were discovered and removed. None were found to be invasive plants but, in 2020, a diligent CBI working at the Denmark launch prevented a strand of invasive milfoil from entering Moose Pond. One small strand is all it takes to start a serious and costly infestation in our waters. What’s more, remediation of an infestation is only possible if an infestation is caught early and is addressed properly and thoroughly.
An under-appreciated part of the CBI program is their role in educating boaters and the population at large that the spread of invasive species is a very serious problem. We all have a part to play: be aware, and do your part. In a Bangor Daily News article earlier this year Lori Valigra reported that invasive milfoil is now present in 32 lakes in Maine. Maine’s five southern counties could see property values fall by more than $11M because of these infestations. Moreover, Valigra reported that the annual cost of controlling these infestations could exceed $4M, and cause lakeside property values on infested lakes to tumble. As Moose Pond property owners, we have a huge incentive to prevent invasive species from entering our lake.
If you are a current paying member of the Moose Pond Association, thank you so much for doing your part to help us protect the lake we love. If you are not a current member, please consider becoming one. More donor dollars means expanding the hours of CBIs. Due to budget constraints, we currently have large gaps in coverage. For example, as of this writing we can only afford to have CBIs on duty at the Denmark ramp on the weekends. If we are able to implement more consistent and regular coverage, we can ensure Moose Pond’s quality for generations to come.