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Unity Foundation Assists With Match Funds For Lake Treatments


In addition to preserving the view of Pine Lake through its Unity Park project, Unity Foundation of La Porte County has given $3,500 in grants to La Porte Area Lake Association in its dedication to treat the invasive Eurasian Watermilfoil.

The $500 awarded from the Environmental Improvement Fund for La Porte County and $3,000 from an unrestricted Unity community grant will help match funds from Indiana Department of Natural Resources Fish and Wildlife Division's LARE (Lake and River Enhancement) program.

Recently, Aquatic Control conducted its first treatment of both Pine and Stone lakes for the Eurasian Watermilfoil - which has been an invasive species in the lakes for years but became a major problem in 2012. That year its growth exploded, which led to dense mats which impaired the use of the lakes. Treatment for the milfoil started in 2013.

For the last three seasons, Aquatic Control has treated the lakes twice. The lakes are mapped in late April to identify the problem areas, which are treated in early May. A follow-up map is done in June to see how those areas responded to treatment, and then they are retreated as needed. The lake is mapped once more in the fall to access the final results.

The Fish and Wildlife Division issues the permit to the La Porte Area Lake Association for the treatment of Pine and Stone. It has the final say on what areas are to be treated and which chemicals are to be used. The chemicals are commonly-used herbicides approved for this purpose which are safe for fish and wildlife.

At this point in time, the milfoil is manageable. However, it will never disappear and must be monitored and treated annually. Otherwise, the lakes will return to the states they were in four years ago, prohibiting full usage. For 2016, the initial amount of acreage requiring treatment was less than last year, which is a positive sign going forward. The goal is to contain the milfoil and treat only as much as necessary.

Lake Association President Vince Dinolfo said, “The expense of the mapping and treatments is very high. The association relies on grants and donations from individuals to cover the cost. So far this year we have received the grants from the Unity Foundation and one through the Fish and Wildlife Division’s LARE program, which are much appreciated.”

Donation checks to help raise the matching funds may be made out to the La Porte Area Lake Association and mailed to P.O. Box 324, La Porte, IN., 46352. Donations can also be made on the web site, through PayPal. In addition, anyone interested and concerned about the health of the lakes is encouraged to join through the website. Interested individuals can also “friend” the lake association on Facebook to learn more.

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