July ebulletin

This month's issue combines two messages containing exciting news of a permanent source of funding for our EWM control efforts, highlights from our July 22 annual meeting, reminders about our summer mobile boat-washing dates, the importance of reporting cases of swimmer’s itch, and our Lake Steward program, as well as a preview of our 2021 annual report.. We hope that you find this ebulletin informative and welcome any feedback. If you have any comments, please send them to info@lakeleelanau.org

Exciting News! A Public Foundation to Protect Lake Leelanau

Over the past few months, our Association’s impassioned call for funding to combat the spread of Eurasian watermilfoil in Lake Leelanau has generated a great deal of public debate, especially around the possibility of forming a lake board. However, in an altogether unanticipated development, in mid-July the Association was approached by a group of families with a proposed solution which we believe is superior to a lake board: the formation of a public foundation which will have as its principal mission the protection of Lake Leelanau for future generations. The families involved will work with the Association to lead a community-wide campaign to form and endow a foundation which will be named Friends of Lake Leelanau, whose sole beneficiary will be the Lake Leelanau Lake Association. The goal will be to raise a minimum of $5 million, the income from which will be used to finance the prevention, monitoring and control of invasive species in Lake Leelanau. The Association is deeply gratified by this outpouring of public interest in finding a solution to protecting Lake Leelanau. The families supporting this new foundation and the board of the Lake Association invite all individuals and organizations who care about Lake Leelanau to join in supporting Friends of Lake Leelanau—an extraordinary new institution which will seek to protect Lake Leelanau far into the future. Click here to read a message containing more detailed information from our President, Tom Hiatt.

Highlights from Our July 22 Annual Meeting

We were delighted to welcome 120+ members and guests to our July 22 Annual Meeting. For those of you who were unable to attend, the highlights were:

  • Brian Price, our Lake Biologist, gave an update on this season’s EWM control efforts
  • Sheriff Mike Borkovitch gave a presentation about marine patrol activities and safe boating
  • Tom Hiatt announced the formation of the Friends of Lake Leelanau public foundation
  • Kathy Birney, LLLA Vice President and Treasurer, gave a report on the Association’s finances
  • An election was held for several LLLA director and officer positions

Click here if you’d like to read a transcript of Tom Hiatt’s prepared remarks.

We’d also like to give a big thank you to Eric Zehender of Fountain Point for hosting our gathering, as well as to Dave and Jane Albert of Boathouse Vineyard, Greg Vogt and the Heekin family of Bel Lago Winery, and Randy Oberson, for providing beverages.

Bring Your Boat to One of Our Mobile Boat Washing Dates

LLLA is hosting the Benzie Conservation District’s mobile boat-washing equipment on Saturday July 17 at the Bingham boat launch, on Sunday July 18 at the Narrows boat launch, and on Wednesday 18 August back at the Bingham boat launch, between 9.30am-3.30pm. LLLA volunteers will be on hand at these locations to answer questions and provide information about the importance of boat-cleaning practices that combat the spread of aquatic invasive species like EWM.

Help Us Fight Swimmer’s Itch by Reporting Cases On Our Website

The latest north and south lake swimmer’s itch location and severity report, through July 11, is now available on our website.  Click on this link to see if any cases have been reported along your stretch of the lakeshore. As you’ll recall from research shared by our Lake Biologist Brian Price, our swimmer’s itch prevention and control efforts have been complicated by the discovery last year that Canada geese as well as Merganser ducks can be hosts of the itch-causing parasites. Help our ongoing research into preventing and controlling swimmer’s itch by reporting any 2021 cases here. You can also save this link lakeleelanau.org/swimmers-itch/ to your smartphone’s browser favorites, so it’s handy if you need it.

Lake Stewards - Take the pledge!

Since January our Lake Steward program has been receiving pledges from shoreline property owners who choose to adopt lakeshore protection and preservation best practices, such as vegetation buffer zones, septic maintenance, no-phosphor herbicides, fertilizers and pesticides, and responsible boating. Help us reach our goal of 50 Lake Stewards in the first year by signing up today. It’s free, just click here to fill in our pledge form that provides many ideas on how you can better protect the lake.  If you want to know more about our Lake Steward program, or just discuss some of the ideas, call Nancy Popa, our Lake Steward Ambassador, at 231-944-9509.

Annual Report Preview

Our 2021 annual report will soon be landing in your mailbox. It’s full of pictures and information about our past-year activities and plans for the coming year, in particular EWM mapping and control, boat cleaning, water quality, water safety, and our lake steward program and community fundraising efforts. It also features an honor roll of our generous donors, supporters and amazing volunteers.

Help Your Friends and Neighbors Stay Informed

Do you have friends or neighbors who care about the quality and beauty of Lake Leelanau but don’t receive our ebulletins? If so, please forward this ebulletin to them and all they have to do is reply with their name to info@lakeleelanau.org. We’ll take care of adding them to our mailing list for future issues.

Lake Leelanau Lake Association is a non-profit organization led by and for individuals, families and businesses who support its mission to protect and enhance the quality and beauty of Lake Leelanau and its surrounding watershed for current and future generations. If you would like to make a donation to support our programs, you can do so here on our website. If you would like to help our programs as a volunteer, send a message to info@lakeleelanau.org

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