It is regrettable that some town officials are taking the lead in addressing and treating the symptoms of Lost Lake's demise, through the use of "safe" chemicals, rather than continuing to lead in understanding and treating the root causes of the pollution at Lost Lake.
The fall Town Meeting was a gravely missed opportunity to encourage the townspeople that we are all responsible for the preservation of Lost Lake (an oddly ironic name at this point) that the burden should not be disproportionately placed on the residents of the Lost Lake region, but on all of us. The indignation of those who would be asked to pay more was understandable, and could perhaps be assuaged a little if we all step up and share the burden of a better long-term solution than poisoning the vegetation in perpetuity.
Neither is the problem simply nitrogen and phosphorous, as the consultants targeted in their studies, but all of the effluent from chemical and pesticides to medicines and antibiotics, gasoline and industrial solvents, et cetera, that go through the septic systems and trickle down from the yards abutting the water body.
If the weeds were brought in via the rudders of motor boats, then it seems the best way to deal with the invasive species problem is to remove the motor boats, and outlaw their use on the lake. Not only do they continue to transport weeds, but they inevitably spill gas and oil, and they are a potent source of noise pollution as well.
We will be lucky to see a healthy sheet of ice, necessary cover for aquatic ecosystems here in the northeast, on Groton's lakes this winter, much less a winter weed kill. The town's officials would do better by sponsoring a symposium on the global changes and challenges that are occurring regarding water resources due to a rapidly warming and increasingly polluted world, on how our town's water bodies are changing, with extremes of drought and deluge becoming the norm, and on how we might adapt and plan accordingly.
The chemical in question should only be used after all factors have been openly studied and understood, and in concert with more far-reaching and longer-term solutions. Indeed, the DEP labeled as safe many chemicals that, though considered safe at their inception, are now considered unsafe and no longer lawful for use. I drink the water from Lost lake via the Whitney Well, and hope for a better long-term outcome. Indeed, from the maps, it appears that the Lost Lake region, in all its beauty and abundance, is one of our largest and most complex watersheds, and it deserves one.