Reston Association will consider including more funding in next year’s budget to preserve the environmental health of Lake Thoreau.
At a meeting with members last night (Monday), RA CEO Hank Lynch said the association has a line-item in the fiscal year 2021 budget to better protect the lake’s environmental health.
A major and potentially toxic algae bloom blanketed Lake Thoreau’s surface last month after RA treated the lake with herbicides to manage Hydrilla, an aquatic plant that had taken over parts of the lake. The treatment occurred in late July — late into the season when treatments are typically avoided in order to prevent further blooms and other issues.
Since then, RA has encouraged residents to avoid contact with the water. The dying hydrilla and algae bloom are expected to continue to dissipate in the coming weeks.
Lynch said there is no “simple formula” to solve all of Lake Thoreau’s environmental health challenges. His staff is working with experts — including Aquatic Environment Consultants — to discuss how to manage algae blooms, erosion, stormwater runoff, and other issues in the future.
“We’ve already go ta line item in the budget if we indeed we need to increase funding to make this doesn’t happen next year,” Lynch said.
RA has routinely worked with AEC to protect its lakes. The consultant’s president Bill Kirkpatrick said that RA had hoped introducing grass carp into the lake would fend off the hydrilla.
“The hope was the carp would be able to get a handle on it,” Kirkpatrick said, adding that his company will reevaluate what happened this year, lay out other options, and make a decision for next year.
RA members urged the association to act more swiftly and proactively in the future to prevent further issues at the lake. Others called on RA to improve its communication with residents, particularly those living near and around Lake Thoreau.
“It should be a top priority,” said Lorri Zell, adding that the lake’s health trumps efforts to bring movies on the lake or pontoon boats.
The full meeting is available online. RA plans to step up community engagement efforts to educate members about its lakes and lake management.
Photo by Jeannine Santoro