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Group to raise funds to rid Goose Bay of milfoil

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ALEXANDRIA BAY — Goose Bay Reclamation Corp. has settled on a plan to eradicate a devastating Eurasian water milfoil infestation, and the group will hold a fundraiser Saturday to help pay for it.

For years, the group and bay residents have fought the invasive aquatic plant that has wreaked havoc on the roughly 1,000-acre bay, choking out local species and giving boaters, swimmers and anglers fits.

Robert S. Lamoureux, co-founder and president of the nonprofit’s board of directors, said the group is working with the state Department of Environmental Conservation to develop a plan to allow the use of aquatic herbicide Sonar on a 25-acre to 50-acre portion on the southern end of the bay, near Cranberry Creek.

About two weeks ago, the reclamation group started research on the flow of the bay to ensure that products used do not contaminate other water bodies. The group will do mapping and water sampling later this summer.

If the action plan is approved, Mr. Lamoureux said, the group will start using the herbicide next spring.

The development of milfoil in the bay has astounded longtime residents such as Laurie J. Andre-Amis, a member of the nonprofit’s board who has come to the bay with her family since the 1980s.

At that time, the bay was a hot spot for boating, swimming and fishing. Now, it’s nearly impossible to get in the water.

“It chokes up your motor and Jet Skis” she said. “Everything gets sucked into the intake and you can’t get out there.”

One plan under development this year, Ms. Andre-Amis said, was getting volunteers to help inspect incoming and outgoing boats, to help protect further contamination or prevent the weed from going elsewhere.

Last year, Mr. Lamoureux said, low water levels led large infestations of the plant to become visible, to the point that groups of cranes could walk on them.

Though higher water this year has lessened the visibility of the plant, Mr. Lamoureux said, it likely will become more easily seen as the summer continues.

The shore dinner and silent auction to raise money for the reclamation group will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Coyote Moon Vineyards, 17371 County Route 3, Clayton.

Tickets are $30 for advance purchase and $35 at the event. For more information about the event, call dinner organizers at 585-314-6494 or 585-355-0621.

ON THE WEB

Goose Bay Reclamation Corp.: http://savegoosebay.weebly.com

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