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DEEP Offers Reassurance of State Action to Turn Zebra Mussel Tide

Reader thanks DEEP for responding to concerns about invasive species.

On behalf of area residents and recreational water enthusiasts, I welcome and applaud the engagement by senior DEEP officials in acknowledging, addressing, and soon acting to blunt the very real invasive species' advances that are threatening our region's waters.  There has been scant evidence of a needed buttoned-down, full-court press since zebra mussels (ZMs) were first identified as a strike threat in 2010, and as milfoil has progressively strangled the waters of Candlewood Lake among others.

Complementing Bill Hyatt's recap of past actions and DEEP's commitment, Commissioner Dan Esty has been forthright in conveying to concerned residents that an extensive ZM control plan will be rolling out soon.  To the extent such a plan effectively and aggressively addresses the dozen or so essential actions cited in the recently published 'Open Letter Urging Swift DEEP Intervention' — and that boaters and anglers observe essential precautions — there can be real hope that a ZM scourge can be blunted and hopefully avoided, at least in Candlewood Lake.  Otherwise our Lake's destiny — and ours — will be preordained.

So, State agency leadership is greatly appreciated to augment local initiatives by Lake Authorities, First Light, and resident advocates to control further incursions.  And aggressive, comprehensive action is imperative; it cannot come soon enough given that the ZM spawning season and 2013 boating season will be upon us in short order.  Indeed, all residents and Lake users need to become more proactive if we are to succeed in keeping our region's waters protected from unrelenting invasive species' advances.  And this can be done; it must be done.

Jim McAlister
Candlewood Watershed Initiative (CWI)

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