The Blue Mountain Lake Association announced a grant award totalling $60,000 over three years by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to support its project to eliminate Variable Leaf Milfoil, a highly aggressive aquatic invasive species, from Utowana Lake, and to prevent its spread throughout the Eckford Chain of lakes.
The Blue Mountain Lake Association is grateful to be one of 43 recipients in this statewide investment to provide critical support to address negative impacts of aquatic and terrestrial invasive species on New York State’s natural resources, economy, and communities. These grants are part of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Invasive Species Grant Program, which provides funding for aquatic and terrestrial invasive species spread prevention, early detection and rapid response, lake management planning, research, and education and outreach.
The Blue Mountain Lake Association oversees efforts to promote the long-term health of all three lakes in The Eckford Chain (Blue Mountain Lake, Eagle Lake and Utowana Lake). In 2020, when Variable Leaf Milfoil (VLM) was first discovered in Utowana Lake, The BMLA acted decisively, quickly raising an unprecedented $150,000 to stop VLM from spreading further into the Eckford Chain. Experts were hired to begin hand-harvesting VLM from Utowana using scuba equipment in order to stop its spread. Initially, 400 gallons of VLM were harvested. By 2023, that number was down to 36 gallons – a testament to The BMLA’s vigilance against VLM in its waters. With the support of additional funds from New York State, The BMLA is seeking to eradicate VLM from Utowana while continuing to monitor all three lakes in the Eckford Chain for aquatic invasive species.