As the year draws to a close, we reflect on the many blessings we enjoy as members of lakeside communities. Lake Leelanau is a source of recreation, relaxation, and inspiration for us all. It is also a vital part of our local ecosystem, and we are committed to protecting it for future generations.
The Lake Leelanau Lake Association (LLLA) is a non-profit organization whose programs preserve and protect our lake. We rely on memberships and donations to fund our important work. This year alone, the lake association raised and spent over $400,000 on our programs. Your donation helps fund our efforts to control Eurasian Watermilfoil (EWM), research swimmer’s itch, install buoys in no-wake areas, maintain water levels and fish populations, and ensure responsible shoreline development and septic system maintenance.
About three-quarters of LLLA’s total budget is currently focused on efforts to prevent, monitor, and remove Eurasian watermilfoil, the most invasive aquatic weed in North America. This noxious plant has already completely overtaken many other lakes not only in Michigan but also in states ranging from New York to California. Should EWM get out of hand in Lake Leelanau, annual remediation costs could quickly double or triple the amount LLLA is currently spending.
This sum does not include hundreds of hours volunteers have spent organizing and supporting these efforts. Nor does it include significant expenditures of time and funds by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, our thoughtful and stalwart partner in this initiative.
This work is being made possible thanks to generous donations from individuals and businesses. Next year, our ongoing fight to protect Lake Leelanau from invasive species and other threats will continue, which we hope to fund again with help from supporters like you. Looking ahead, once the Friends of Lake Leelanau Foundation, a new public foundation, is fully funded, we anticipate it will begin to generate income to help underwrite the costs of these essential measures beginning in 2025.
Additionally, we have made significant progress on a number of important initiatives, including:
- Water quality monitoring: We regularly test our lake water for pollutants and other contaminants. This data helps us to identify and address any potential problems early on.
- Shoreline restoration: Our Shoreline Ambassador program teaches riparians how to restore natural shoreline to protect the lake and property from erosion and pollution.
- Public education: We educate our members and the public about the importance of protecting our lake.
As you choose year-end contributions to your favorite charities, consider a donation to the Lake Association. Please help us protect the waters of Lake Leelanau for our children and grandchildren.
To donate, please use our online form available here or send a check payable to the Lake Leelanau Lake Association by mail to:
Lake Leelanau Lake Association
PO Box 123
Leland, MI 49654
Your contributions make a meaningful difference to the health of the lake. You have our grateful thanks.