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Environment and Outdoors

After Two Decades Of Underwater Weeding, Lovell Pond Homeowners Eradicate Invasive Milfoil

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Tom Porter
/
Maine Public file
A clump of invasive milfoil in 2010.

It took more than two decades, but homeowners on Cushman Pond in Lovell have eradicated invasive milfoil by repeatedly diving in to pull it out by hand.

Doug Faille, who helped lead the effort, says the state considers a body of water to be milfoil-free after three seasons have passed without finding the invasive plant, and Cushman Pond reached that milestone last weekend.

Faille credits the commitment of more than 100 homeowners and community members who took part in the effort.

"It's tough to maintain enthusiasm over 25 years when it's eating up one day of every holiday weekend every summer," he says.

Faille says a team of snorkelers and divers would essentially weed the plant several times each year.

"On a light year, we would probably do four to five dives, and a bad year we might do eight dives," he says.

The community also used benthic mats to prevent milfoil growth.

Faille says divers will now switch from eradication to monitoring for milfoil each year.