SMLA pushes for more buffer landscaping to protect the lake | Latest Headlines
An increase in phosphorus is one of the main causes of algae growth in the lake. Most of the algae found on the lake recently have been green algae and diatoms. While small amounts of green algae and diatoms are normal in most lakes, high phosphorus levels can cause large algal blooms that can take over the lakes, removing oxygen from the water and killing fish and other wildlife.
Another alga found at the lake is blue-green, which has only been observed in a few cases. These algae are more dangerous because some species produce a toxin that can be harmful to humans and pets if ingested. So far, the blue-green algae discovered at the lake have not been poisonous.
Hastings said 1 pound of phosphorus in the runoff can lead to up to 500 pounds of algae growth in the lake.
To prevent the spread of phosphorus in water, Hastings is working to educate the public about the importance of buffer landscapes. The landscapes can trap sediments and filter nutrients and pollutants before they enter the lake. In addition to phosphorus, Hastings says, buffer landscapes can also prevent other harmful chemicals found in pesticides and herbicides commonly used in lawn maintenance.
Hastings said he and other SMLA volunteers had met with owners interested in installing a buffer landscape. He said many worked with them to create the scenery while others had concerns without seeing examples for themselves.