President, Judy Colaluca
Summer 2017 is almost here. Seriously, it is not March as the weather makes us feel! And it is time for the Annual SDRA Meeting. This has been a very busy year around and on OUR beautiful lake. SDRA Board Members have worked extremely diligently to determine ways to improve and protect OUR lakefront community.
In the middle of winter, Mike Benoit is collecting data on OUR lake’s oxygen level or assisting Dave Morin as Dam Master, controlling the water level at OUR dam. Meanwhile, Art Searle records this data on graphs for DEM. This spring, Art and Aaron Colaluca address ways of improving our Suction Harvester to be put to use shortly, including a procedures manual for its use. Deb Silva continues to collect water samples for URI Watershed Watch Program
And then there are the important fundraising and administrative duties. This past winter, Brian Sirois, Eric LaRiviere, and Marissa Danville organized the very successful wine tasting dinner as a fundraiser. Marissa monitors the Go Fund Me page. Mary O’Keeffe’s detailed meeting notes keep us on target, and her organizing the boat inspection program prevents unwanted weeds from entering OUR lake. Carolyn Fortuna’s comprehensive treasurer’s report and her writing of the quarterly newsletter informs all of the actions of SDRA.
I have said it many times: it is a privilege to live here and an honor to work with the SDRA Association . Working together as a TEAM, the SDRA Board continues to support ways to improve and protect Our water.
I hope to see you at the Annual Meeting on June 21st when you can learn more about OUR community. Consider signing up for a committee. Your “hands” are necessary, as there are always challenges to meet and work to be done from your water’s edge to the surrounding watershed — every person’s actions make a difference!
Secretary, Mary O’Keeffe
Your SDRA board has been meeting regularly on important matters relative to lake management, fundraising, and protecting our beautiful lake. The board members (Eric, Marissa, & Brian) have brought new ideas, and the great success of our April fundraising dinner was due in large part to their coordination and planning efforts. Our Lake Management team members have been monitoring water quality, making improvements to the suction harvester, and proactively planning efforts to reduce the impact of aquatic invasive species to preserve and protect the lake.
We look forward to seeing you at the June 21st annual meeting and hope you will consider getting more involved in our efforts.
Treasurer, Carolyn Fortuna
I am very proud of the efforts of our SDRA officers and board this year. We made a decision to use a significant amount of the funds we had accumulated through grant-writing, funding-raising, and dues over the last few years to purchase a suction harvester. If our first efforts at its use late last summer were any indication, this device is just what we need to reduce the impact that invasive milfoil has had on our lake. But the purchase did reduce our treasury. That didn’t stop our board.
When you come to the annual meeting on June 21st at the Glocester Town Hall at 6 p.m. for refreshments and networking and 7 p.m. for the business meeting, you’ll see how the determination and resilience of our active membership have returned our treasury to full health.
GoFundMe Site: Marissa and Denny Danville
The GoFundMe site is available for donations. Our balance remains at $985 with $100 of that from this year. Thank you to everyone that donated, and please continue to visit and share the site at www.gofundme.com/sanddamri. Thank you!
Board of Directors’ Report
Eric LaRiviere: As a member of the Board of Directors for the past two years, I’ve experienced first hand how passionate our members are about maintaining the cleanliness and natural beauty of our lake. Over the past several months, we have been actively working with the Town Council in an attempt to reduce the amount of litter we have on our roadways and in our lake. Simple changes such as covering our trash while en route to the transfer station will reduce the amount of garbage littering our streets.
I look forward to our annual meeting to get more neighbors involved to share ideas to better combat this issue.
Programs and Committees
Lake Management Plan, Art Searle
Members of the lake management team, including Aaron and Rico Colaluca, are in the process of revising the weed suction harvester. As purchased, the weed suction harvester used onion bags as a primary collection system. Onion bags are a major hassle; they do not biodegrade, cost money, are one use items, and are time consuming to empty. Further, the arrangement of the onion bags required an awkward, forty pound lift. Our goals are to eliminate the use of onion bags and streamline the overall operation. We are in the process of testing modifications and hope to have an improved, working system in place as soon as possible.
Opportunities to harvest weeds with the suction harvester will be plentiful. Dense, widespread beds of milfoil cover much of the southern third of our lake. The more the harvester runs, the better. We encourage teams to plan for and reserve the suction harvester. Visit the SDRA Suction Harvester Calendar (https://goo.gl/cvAsg0) to ensure the day(s) you would like are open.
If you would like instruction on how the harvester works, would like to volunteer with a team, want to reserve a single or repeating days, or otherwise want to participate, please contact Art Searle or Rico Colaluca.
Save the Lakes, Judy Colaluca
As a statewide association, Save The Lakes (STL) continues to sponsor and support activities which foster Best Practices around fresh water here in Rhode Island. STL has been active this year at the RI Statehouse to support bills that will improve the quality of fresh water in Rhode Island.
If you are interested in joining STL to help to improve, protect, or preserve fresh water in RI, go to the website for more information. Here is the web site at wwwSTL.RI.org for more information.
Boat Greeter Program, Mary O’Keeffe
Once again this year I am looking for folks to join me at the boat launch to help with the boat greeter and voluntary inspection program. As in past years, we will be targeting fishing tournaments and high-traffic times on the lake. Our primary objective is to build goodwill and educate boaters on the importance of proper boater hygiene to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species. We typically find that 20-25% of boats arriving at the launch have plant material (that will be transported to OUR lake if not removed)! Information about the program and a link to the volunteer handbook can be found at http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/water/quality/surface-water/aisresp.php
I will bring a sign-up sheet to the annual meeting. A preliminary list of dates and times appears below. I hope you will consider joining me at the launch for this important education and outreach effort.
If you are interested or have questions, please email me at email@example.com.
Summer 17 boat inspection dates (tournaments):
- June 17th 5-6:30am
- June 22 4-5:30pm
- June 24 4-5:30pm
- July 11 4-5:30pm
- July 21 5-6:30am
- July 30 12-1:30pm
- Aug 8 4-5:30pm
- Aug 10 4-5:30am
- Aug 12 5-6:30am
- Sept 21 4-5:30pm
Nominations and Elections, Rico Colaluca and Steve Hanley
Under the current SDRA by-laws, there are 4 officers — president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer — and three directors. The officers and directors comprise the executive board, which makes management decisions regarding the stewardship of Sand Dam Reservoir Association during the year between annual meetings.
Officers serve for a two year term and may not serve more than 2 terms in the same position. Directors serve a three year term. Their terms are staggered so that the term of one expires every year. The nominating committee would like to thank the current Board for all their hard work and their service. Lynn Kohanski’s term as VP and Carolyn Fortuna’s term as Treasurer are up this year. These were 2 year terms, and they have chosen to step down from these positions. Eric LaRiviere’s term as 3 year director is also up this year.
The successful management of our lake depends on having as many people as possible participate in the organization. The nominating committee reaches out to those it believes would make effective officers or directors each year at the annual meeting, at social occasions, and directly via personal interactions.
All members of SDRA in good standing are eligible to serve as an officer or director. The executive board meets once a month, and all meetings are limited to no more than 90 minutes in length. Any member who wishes to be serve as an officer or director of the organization is welcome to contact the nominating committee or any member of the executive board at any time.
Meetings are open to any and all members, who are encouraged to attend. The proceedings are conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order. Matters that concern good stewardship of the lake are discussed, and some members of the board are asked to gather more information on a topic to better inform the board on important matters that concern the membership.
Prior to the annual meeting, the members of the nominating committee meet to discuss the slate of candidates that will be offered for the consideration of the membership each year. These are suggestions only. Nominations from the membership at the time of the annual meeting are encouraged.
Any organization is only as strong as its members. Being part of the management of our lake takes only a few hours each month, and it vital to maintaining Sand Dam Reservoir as the central focal point of our lake community.