Ossipee — April 24, 2008 — For the third summer, boaters entering Ossipee Lake from the town ramp at the end of Ossipee’s Pequawket Trail Road will be greeted by Lake Hosts to guard against invasive plants.
In 2008, funds for the popular Lake Host Program at this site will come from a NH Lakes Association grant matched by local funds that include donations from Ward’s Boat Shop of Ossipee and the Ossipee Lake Alliance conservation group.
The Lake Host Program increases boater awareness of milfoil and other destructive invasive plants by offering on-site boater education and boat and trailer inspections on Memorial Day weekend plus weekends from July 4 through Labor Day.
Nick Paquette, a UNH undergraduate, will return as supervisory “Point Person/Managing Lake Host” this summer, assisted by Jean Hansen of the Ossipee Conservation Commission which coordinates the program locally.
Costs to implement the program in 2008 – estimated at $5,375 for this location – will be supported by a $2,500 NH Lakes Association grant that at least must be matched locally. Ward’s Boat Shop of Ossipee and the Ossipee Lake Alliance each donated $450 for the Ossipee funds to cover the fee for the Point Person and other program expenses. Mature high school and college students will be hired to work at the Ossipee ramp on weekends and holidays from the end of June through Labor Day. During the week boaters will complete a voluntary sign-in process at the town information kiosk at the Pequawket Trail site.
In 2008, more than 250 Lake Hosts will staff 82 public access ramps on 66 New Hampshire Lakes and Ponds to educate boaters about exotic, invasive plants. They will inspect more than 35,000 boats. You can help by remembering to inspect your boat and trailer every time you enter or a leave a lake or pond.
“Exotic aquatic plants are now found in 68 waterbodies in New Hampshire,” said Jared Teutsch, president of the New Hampshire Lake Association.
“Once it’s established, there is no known way to completely eradicate it. Variable milfoil seriously compromises the recreational, ecological, and economic value of a lake, costing tens of thousand of dollars to control annually. It is better to prevent it in the first place.”
For more information or to learn how you can contribute to ensure continuation of the Lake Host Program, call the Ossipee Conservation Commission at (603) 539-4181 or Jean Hansen at (603) 986 6646.