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Public invited to learn about invasive aquatic vegetation prevention efforts on Sept. 30: WCSU to host Regional Lake Communities Symposium series

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Integrative Biological Diversity graduate program, WCSU NOAA BWet Finding Our Way Office of Science Education Outreach and Praxair will host the first of three Regional Lake Communities Symposia, “What Do We Want From Our Lakes?” at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 30, 2019,  in Room 125 of the Science Building on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury.

The symposium will include a panel discussion featuring representatives from Ball Pond, Candlewood Lake, Lake Housatonic, Lake Zoar and Lake Lillinonah. Aquatic ecosystem research partners Larry Marsicano, principal limnologist at Aquatic Ecosystem Research, and Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Associate Scientist Greg Bugbee will discuss the use of triploid grass carp to control invasive aquatic vegetation. Peter Aarrestad, director of Inland Fisheries for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, will summarize the advantages and disadvantages of introducing grass carp to manage aquatic vegetation, and New Fairfield Health Director Tim Simkins and George Benson, of Benson Environmental, will discuss the long-term success of using grass carp.

Among the lake community participants will be Simkins (Ball Pond); Candlewood Lake Executive Director Mark Howarth, Candlewood Lake Authority Chairperson Phyllis Schaer and Director of Ecology and Environmental Education Neil Stalter (Candlewood Lake); Aquatic Vegetation Management Coordinator James Olson and Treasurer Sandy Blanchard (Lake Housatonic); Lake Zoar Authority Chairperson Gary Fillion; and Lake Lillinonah Authority Chairperson Jamie Curren.

WCSU Professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences Dr. Theodora Pinou will introduce the panelists, topic and facilitate the conversation. Following presentation of Marsicano and Bugbee’s research relating to triploid grass carp as a means to control milfoil in Candlewood Lake, the representatives from each of the lake communities will discuss their aquatic plant challenges, current management actions and degrees of success.

The symposium is free and the public is invited. Attendees will have the opportunity to pose questions to the panelists.

Future Regional Lake Communities Symposia will include:

  • “How Can We Help Connecticut Manage the Water Quality of Our Lakes?” at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 21. Supervising Environmental Analyst Chris Bellucci and Tracy Lizotte, of the Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, will discuss state water quality standards.
  • “The Value of the Lake, Monetizing the Social Benefits of Lakes” at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 25.

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