The Tacoma Lakes Association Invasive Plant Patrol team consists of volunteers who donate their time weekly throughout most of the summer. The team surveys the “littoral zone” of our lakes (that area where the sun can penetrate to the bottom and plants therefore grow) looking for suspicious growth. Most of the members have attended a one-day workshop and some have attended more advanced training programs; however, training is not a pre-requisite for joining the team.
Non-native invasive species have been identified in many lakes in Maine, including several in our surrounding areas. Once established, these plant infestations are very costly and difficult (if not impossible) to eradicate. Our volunteers attend, at minimum, an all-day training session sponsored by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program. Our goal is that if by some unfortunate circumstance we do end up with an invasive species, it will be identified in its early stages before it has become established.
At the July 30, 2016, Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program annual meeting, the TLA IPP team was named the Invasive Plant Patrol Team of the Year.