April 2017 SDRA Newsletter

April 2017 Sand Dam Reservoir Association Newsletter

www.sanddamreservoir.com

Officers’ Updates

President

YEAH! Spring is here! Our lake is filled with water! Fishing boats, canoes, and kayaks have been seen on our lake along with geese, ducks, and returning birds.  A successful fundraising event has just passed. Summer is almost here, and we are ready.  Everyone is getting their property ready for all the planned summer activities.  Summer residents have started opening their cottages — so great.

So important to be mindful of good waterfront practices!  Instead of green grass down to the water’s edge, consider planting a buffer zone. This would capture runoff from your yard and prevent unwanted materials from fertilizing the invasive weeds in our lake— plus, it will improve the look of your property. There are many members of SDRA who are working HARD to control the number of invasive weeds growing in our lake. Everyone needs to use ways that do not foster the growth of weeds. DEM’s website has many ideas how waterfront property owners can help manage invasive weeds; ask us, and we’ll share them with you.  OUR grandchildren, future grandchildren, and all future generations will enjoy our freshwater lake if we exercise good judgment.

Get involved in SDRA Community. Thanks, SDRA members, for all you do to protect, improve, and preserve Smith and Sayles Reservoir!! Happy Spring!!!

Judy  Colaluca

Treasurer

We are so lucky to have such a dedicated group of officers and board members here at SDRA! Our treasury is in very good shape. Although the winter was long and raw, we gathered forces on several initiatives which significantly improved our cash reserves as well as total membership. We have more member involvement than ever before in our lake association efforts. Review the entries below to see each activity. Thank you!

Carolyn Fortuna

Fundraiser at Bella’s Restaurant

On Saturday, April 8, 160 friends of Sand Dam Reservoir Association (SDRA) gathered at Bella’s Restaurant in Pascoag, Rhode Island to share a meal, sample a selection of fine wines, and dance the night away. What a fun night it was! And it was the most profitable fundraiser that we at SDRA have ever held. Thanks so much to everyone who contributed to this fabulous event.

The well-lit room was filled with round tables at which 10 or 11 guests were seated. As the board planned the event over the past few months, we never hoped we would get such a turnout! Sarah, the banquet coordinator at Bella’s, was so helpful as our guest list expanded. We appreciate everything she and the large Bella’s staff did that evening to make us feel so welcomed. (Click here to read the entire article at our SDRA website.)

Carolyn Fortuna and Steve Hanley

April 2017 SDRA

2016-2017 Membership Drive

Judy, Marissa, and Carolyn

We wrote letters to families whose memberships had lapsed. The result? 5 new or returning members. We now have 37 memberships in our Sand Dam Reservoir Assocation family. That is the most memberships we have had in recent memory! Wonderful!

 

Suction Harvester Fundraising Campaign

December 1, 2016  – February 1, 2017

Bronze Level

($50 and under)

Carol and Eric Lariviere
Connie Worthington and Terry Tullis
Bill and Sue Worthington
The Balcoms: Louise, David, Carol Ann
Louise Sheldon
Silver Level

($51 – $100)

Claudette and Harvey Lariviere
Dorothy Steere
Terilynn Colaluca and Jason Dionne
Pauline and Rich Finlaw
Gold Level

($101 and up)

Mark Bard
Father John Hunt
Tony Hawkes
Carolyn Fortuna and Steve Hanley
Almerinda M. Colaluca and Angela Chiperas
Rico and Judy Colaluca
Titanium

($500 and up)

David Bourdeau
Brenda OBrien

Annual Fund Drive to Support the Suction Harvester Purchase

Judy, Marissa, and Carolyn

The graphic above says it all! We are so grateful to each family who donated to our Winter Suction Harvester Fund Drive. Your support will help SDRA to continue its efforts to preserve and protect Smith & Sayles Reservoir through sustainable means.

GoFundMe Site

Marissa and Dennis Danville

Our GoFundMe site is still going strong. Over the winter during our postcard fundraiser, we received $100 from the website. This may seem like a  small percentage of total donations raised but every donation makes a difference. The site will remain active and can be visited and shared at www.gofundme.com/sanddamri. Thank you for all your donations.

Board of Directors’ Reports

Marissa Danville: I just want to take a moment to thank everyone who brought a donation to be used in the Silent Auction at our wine tasting evening at Bella’s Restaurant. I knew of several donations going into the evening, but I was astonished at not only the number of donations received but also the quality of the baskets. All together, we had 23 baskets, bringing in over $1,000. So thank you to everyone who donated and participated!

Brian Sirois: As a SDRA board member, I am amazed at the overwhelming response from ticket sales, the awesome band, and the concentrated efforts of our team to get things done for our Bella’s Restaurant fundraiser. It’s been a great experience to be on the SDRA board!

Programs and Committees

Lake Management Plan

During the 2016-2017 drawdown, there were fourteen days recorded where the average temperature was below freezing, and there was no snow covering the exposed lake bed. Both factors are important because exposed milfoil can be killed by freezing it and drying it. Snow insulates exposed milfoil, keeping it from freezing and also keeping it moist, so lack of snow and presence of cold is important. Based on the information gathered, we expect an absence of rooted, living milfoil in areas where the water depth is about 43 inches or lower.

You are encouraged to view the full details on our most recent drawdown can be viewed here. If you have any questions about the drawdown, please contact a board member or a lake management team member.

Art Searle

Save the Lakes

Save the Lakes (STL) has been extremely busy this Spring. Bass Pro Shop hosted STL on a busy Saturday in March. Here, information regarding best practices was distributed to shoppers. On April 8, STL and SDRA coordinated with  Hope Leeson from the RI Natural History Survey to present a workshop at the Land and Water Summit at URI. What an honor!! The workshop explained how to recognize freshwater aquatic plants and prevent their spread in RI. Mary O’Keeffe did a fine job explaining how volunteers use the GREAT Boater Program to promote boat hygiene throughout the state to limit the introduction and spread of invasive plants.  On April 26th, STL will host the Annual Meeting with DEM at the Johnston Senior Center, 1291 Hartford Ave., Johnston. Come hear the latest news from Director Coit and her staff. This program starts at 6:30 PM, ending at 8:30 PM. Also, you will have the opportunity to gather information from Matt Ladewig, project scientist and Group Manager at ESS Group. Matt will answer the question, “So your lake has issues. Now what?” This is sure to be informative evening. Go to the web site at wwwSTL.RI.org for more information.

Judy Colaluca

Boat Greeter Program

We are waiting for fishing tournaments for the summer season, 2017. New volunteers are always welcomed. During the summer 2016 season, we inspected 69 boats, 18 of which had plant material. This is consistent with past years, and we continually find about 20-25 percent of boats having suspected invasives. It reinforces the importance of proper boat hygiene. Come join us and share in this important SDRA activity!

Mary O’Keeffe

Nominations and Elections

We are currently accepting applications from any SDRA member in good standing who has lived on the lake for at least three years and who would like to run for an officer’s or director’s position. This is a wonderful way to get involved with your lake association and learn from the inside how many different approaches we take as an association to preserve and protect our lake ecosystem.

Rico Colaluca and Steve Hanley

Water Testing

We are always looking for volunteers to assist us as we test our water periodically. This water testing has a very long data record with URI and provides a valuable resource for us and for other Rhode Island lake associations as they monitor changes in water quality, temperature, and habitat. This is a fun way to get involved!

Water testing by Deb Silva and family

 

SDRA Dinner and Wine Tasting at Bella’s is a Huge Success

On Saturday, April 8, 160 friends of Sand Dam Reservoir Association (SDRA) gathered at Bella’s Restaurant in Pascoag, Rhode Island to share a meal, sample a selection of fine wines, and dance the night away. What a fun night it was! And it was the most profitable fundraiser that we at SDRA have ever held. Thanks so much to everyone who contributed to this fabulous event.

The well-lit room was filled with round tables at which 10 or 11 guests were seated. As the board planned the event over the past few months, we never hoped we would get such a turnout! Sarah, the banquet coordinator at Bella’s, was so helpful as our guest list expanded. We appreciate everything she and the large Bella’s staff did that evening to make us feel so welcomed.

SDRA President Judy Colaluca welcomed the large crowd and expressed her gratitude to all present for their contributions toward our suction harvester.

The six course Wine Dinner menu as selected by Bella chefs began with bruschetta and was followed by a garden salad. Next was a delicious penne with a pink vodka sauce. Then two entree dishes came: first, chicken Marsala; second, filet of sole piccata. The dessert was a decadent finish of tiramisu.

While the dinner was fabulous, the wine selection was even better! Wines were paired and selected by Kevin Kitson of Christy’s Liquors. We began with a La Lucca sparkling rose (appetizer course) and moved to Hangtime chardonnay (salad course). Next came a Meiomi pinot noir (pasta course), followed by a Federalist bourbon barrel aged zinfandel (poultry course). A Santa Margherita pinto grigio (fish course) and Rumchata (dessert course) concluded the wine presentations.

Christy’s Liquors has kindly extended the offer of cases of wines that we enjoyed at the SDRA fundraiser into next week. Wines can be ordered at 401.568.1111; be sure to mention the Sand Dam Reservoir Association fundraiser. Prices per bottle range from $8.99 to $20.99; case prices are available.

We can’t thank Kevin enough for his helpful hints as we planned the fundraiser as well as his extensive generosity in donating his time and spirits so that SDRA could have a successful event. Thanks, Kevin. Your new building being erected in Chepachet will be a welcome addition to the town center.

The Silent Auction has become a staple element in our SDRA fundraising, thanks to the artistic design of SDRA board member, Marissa Danville. Some of the donations for the Silent Auction included two handcrafted coat racks, a clean living basket, a movie night basket, a Twirl Blowout gift certificate, a Mindful Bodyworks Massage gift certificate, a maple syrup basket, a bird lovers tote, a Happy Easter basket, a boat fire extinguisher, Frederickson Farm gift certificates, a bird house, a Victorian Mother’s Day basket, a Taste of Northern RI basket, a Milwaukee drill, a terrarium, a Paul Mitchell basket, an under cabinet lighting kit, a memory basket, a Mapleville Farm assortment, bunnies, a NH maple delight basket… and more!

Music was provided by  Black Tie Affair, whose band composition included some Searle family members. Guests crowded the dance floor once the dinner service was complete and danced until late in the evening. We extend many thanks to the Searle family, who donated the musical entertainment on behalf of SDRA.

A 50/50 raffle got lots of interest and was expertly run by Aaron Colaluca. Aaron’s customer service background certainly was shining at the event!

Special thanks to Eric Lariviere for all his hard work organizing this outstanding event and to the Colaluca, Sirois, Searle, and Danville families for encouraging so many of their family members to join in the fun.

A 6-Course Wine Dinner to Help a Local Nonprofit with Big Sustainability Goals

Smith and Sayles Reservoir in Chepachet has been a site for recreational fishing, people-powered boating, and swimming for decades. It’s also one of the most pristine lake settings in southern New England due to long parcels abutting the lake on the Glocester Land Trust properties.

And a very active lake association that represents over 35 families has been doing everything it can to keep the lake clean, clear, and safe. One obstacle confronting San Dam Reservoir Association (SDRA) is invasive weeds, particularly variable milfoil. Milfoil is a “hitchhiker” that attaches itself to boats and is transferred from one lake to another.

 

What has SDRA done about invasive weeds?

In 2017, SDRA will continue its voluntary boat inspection program. A team of lake and community members greets boaters to educate and reinforce the importance of proper boater hygiene in stopping the spread of invasive species like milfoil. “DEM has documented over a dozen different invasive species in RI lakes,” says Mary O’Keeffe, SDRA’s boat inspection program coordinator. “So far, variable milfoil is the only invasive plant species found in our lake. Educating boaters and teaching them how to inspect and clean their boats is an important primary prevention effort. We find plant material on about 20% of the boats/trailers that visit the boat launch.”

While the boat inspection team can identify new invasives that might be introduced into Smith and Sayles Reservoir, the existing milfoil continues to be a problem. According to SDRA President Judy Colaluca, “Invasive weeds are here to stay. Controlling them and limiting their expansion is our goal. To attain this goal ALL must work as a team utilizing numerous methods.”

SDRA has tried hand pulling weeds, hiring divers, experimenting with a mat to prevent sunlight on the lake bottom, and working in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEM) each autumn to draw down the lake level. That last measure, hopefully, freezes plants when areas of the lake bottom are exposed. SDRA even went so far nearly ten years ago to apply chemicals to the weeds’ roots. That solution proved to be only temporary. It also wasn’t sustainable, may produce health consequences, and flamed tensions among members.

aprofessionaldiver%27sbounty

SDRA’s lake management committee kept researching new methods to mitigate invasives. In 2015, a Massachusetts lake association caught SDRA’s attention with their own invasive weed reduction program. “Suction harvesting can be an effective, environmentally friendly option for milfoil reduction,” explains SDRA’s Lake Management Chair, Art Searle. “Imagine a powerful, floating shop vac guided by divers who position a suction nozzle near milfoil roots. A topside crew collects and composts milfoil. That’s the essence of diver assisted suction harvesting.”

A suction harvester, which combines a pontoon boat based with a vacuuming device and weed collection area, was appealing to SDRA. Because it was decentralized, too, it could be operated by trained assocation members, thereby adjusting its use to the times when the invasive milfoil’s red stalks and root systems were most prominent.

Nothing’s free, and suction harvesters are quite pricey

There was one really big barrier to SDRA’s purchase of a suction harvester, however.

A suction harvester is expensive, especially for a relatively small organization like SDRA: $17,000. Fast forward to the past year. SDRA held two major fundraisers — one at Mulberry Vineyard and another at the Purple Cat Winery — to boost the treasury.  By late summer 2016, SDRA was able to purchase a suction harvester.

It has worked great so far! Even with only a short amount of time remaining to the 2016 high season after purchase, SDRA was able to fill around 200 biodegradable bags with invasive milfoil from Smith and Sayles Reservoir.

But the purchase of the suction harvester affected SDRA’s treasury significantly. A winter 2017 fundraising drive was very helpful. But, in order to maintain and sustain the suction harvester and continue to build in other sustainability initiatives to preserve the Reservoir, SDRA needs to continue to replenish its treasury.

eventheheronlikestheweedpullproject

 

A 6-course wine dinner for only $45 per person at Bella’s

So there’s another SDRA fundraiser in the near future. Won’t you join us at Bella’s Restaurant on Saturday, April 8, 2017 for an evening of six excellent chef-selected dishes paired with six wines suggested by Kitson’s Liquors? You’ll also have the opportunity to review items in a Silent Auction, take a chance on a 50-50 raffle, and, most importantly, chat about community sustainability issues with SDRA members and interested friends. You’ll be contributing to a healthy Smith and Sayles Reservoir lake ecosystem.

Tickets are $45 each. For more information, contact Carolyn Fortuna at c4tuna31@gmail.com.

 

December, 2016 Newsletter

Sand Dam Reservoir Association Newsletter

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www.sanddamreservoir.com

Officers’ Updates

President- Judy Colaluca

This is an exciting, crazy, reflective, and planning time of the year for all of us around Smith and Sayles Reservoir. What a beautiful community we have to reside in — we are so fortunate.  As we move forward, we have to reflect on the past and keep upgrading SDRA’s  goals to meet the needs as they arise to protect, improve, and preserve OUR lake.

OUR Suction Harvester – If you have not seen this amazing, useful, and gentle piece of equipment in action, just wait ‘til the spring of 2017! Teams will be set up in order to maximize the capability of the harvester. Working on the harvester is hard work- but extremely appreciated as, once the weeds are sucked up- they are gone- straight to a compost pile!!

OUR Boat Inspection Team – They are up and on the job early in the morning and after dark as needed. If not for their determination, two new weed species would have been introduced into our lake this past summer.

OUR Clean Up Days- All ages of the family were out cleaning up litter at the Spillway and Dam. This year we had 8 volunteers from our like-minded partner, Northwest Rhode Island Supporters of Open Spaces (NRISOS) joining us- wonderful! cleanup-group-photo

OUR goal is always to be aware of what is developing around our lake. For example, the Hopkins Property development proposal on New Road (i.e. the gravel bank) is presently suspended, and, when more information is available, it will be forwarded to you. Also, individual landowners need to be following best practises concerning composting and fertilizing their lawns so as not to be fostering the growth of the weeds. What we do as individuals impacts all!

Want more information concerning goals, activities???

cleanup-funJust contact any member of the Board.

I appreciate each and every one of you SDRA members—-

Happy holidays, Judy

Treasurer—  Carolyn Fortuna

Thanks to those of you who paid your dues at the 2016 SDRA Annual Meeting or at Sand Dam Day. We also have had a number of individuals who have paid since those events, bringing us to about 95% of our consistent membership numbers over the last three years. Your dues have helped us to begin the process of replenishing our treasury after the summer 2016 purchase of the Suction Harvester.

Moreover, with the convening of a newly formed Membership Committee consisting of Marissa Danville, Judy Colaluca, and me, we were able to identify about a dozen families on the lake who might like to become members of the Association. As a result, we have initiated a letter writing campaign to let these lake neighbors know about SDRA and the events we undertake on behalf of our mission to protect and nurture the lake environment. Our Association is involved with many activities of which non-members might not be aware. We’ll keep you posted how it goes. Also, if you know neighbors who might like to become a member of SDRA, please reach out to them. It is so important to be able to put a friendly face alongside an invitation.

May the new year bring you and your lake family great joy and solace. —- Carolyn

Board of Directors’ Reports

Having come from Oakland Beach, I was familiar with DEM being largely involved in anything to do with the bay and coves. I thought they would also be responsible for the lakes in Rhode Island. Oh, how I was mistaken. I never realized the management of the lake falls upon the residents. These past few years as a board member have made me aware of just what it takes to properly manage the lake, whether it’s through meetings, fundraisers, or good old fashioned manual labor. This isn’t a normal 9 to 5 job; it’s so much more because this is our home. We live on and around this lake, and we are all working tirelessly to preserve a healthy lake for our families and future generations. It takes a lot of time and effort and I’m proud to be a part of the SDRA team. —

Happy holidays to you and yours,

Marissa Danville

suction-harvester-workerAs many of you have heard by now, our Association was able to purchase our own weed harvester this past summer. This was the result of the hard work of many members, along with several fundraising events. This amazing piece of equipment allows us to safely remove invasive weeds from our lake without chemical means. However, this can only be effective with repetitive usage, fueled by hours of volunteer work. In the upcoming summer season, please consider donating some time so we can maximize the harvester’s potential by creating teams of volunteers to help eradicate this problem. The training only takes about an hour, and you will work alongside experienced friends and neighbors. Have a great winter, and I hope to see many of you when training resumes in the spring.

Best regards,

Eric Lariviere

Committee Reports

Grant Writing

We are so lucky to have received another opportunity to submit a State Legislative grant from Senator Fogarty’s office for the 2016-2017 year. I wrote the narrative, which helps to support our dam and water level monitoring and adjusting, during the month of November. This $500 credit to our treasury offers us a cushion as we turn to the new year.

— Carolyn Fortuna

Fund Drive

The holidays are upon us, and I’m sure we’re all thinking to ourselves, “What am I going to get that hard-to-buy-for person?” I’ve got it! How about a donation in their name? This year we are holding a fund drive beginning January 1, 2017 to help support the use of the Suction Harvester purchased over the summer. Here’s some of the fundraiser information.

SDRA has a New Suction Harvester!

And we need everyone to pitch in with help to support its use…

Bronze Level Contributions: $50 and under.

Silver Level Contributions: $51-$100

Gold Level Contributions: $101 +

Please make any payments to:

Sand Dam Reservoir Association

PO Box 284

Chepachet, RI 02814

Donations may also be made online through our GoFundMe go-fund-me-pagesite: https//www.gofundme.com/sanddamri

Any and all help is appreciated to ensure the best possible care is taken to preserve the lake for years to come. The purchase of the suction harvester was just the beginning. With everyone’s help, we can move towards eradicating Milfoil and any other invasive species that might try to enter our waters. Thank you everyone for all your help.

If you have any questions at all, please let me know at mjdanville@gmail.com.

Marissa Danville

Lake Management Plan

SDRA’s annual drawdown is well under way. Daily water level measurements are taken during the drawdown, and weekly oxygen levels are also taken. Our Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management issued permit allows our Association to drawdown 54 inches below normal lake level at a rate not to exceed two inches per day.

suction-harvester

As you can see from the graph below, the lake is nearly four feet low, leaving about a foot left to draw down. Barring a large precipitation event, the lake level should be at our permitted maximum drawdown depth near mid-December. Once the lake is at its lowest level, think dry, sub-freezing weather! Greater milfoil mortality through a drawdown will result in reduced reliance on the Association’s new weed suction harvester.

drawdown

In depth drawdown information is available at https://sites.google.com/site/sdradrawdown/

—- Art Searle

Save the Lakes –  

Save The Lakes (STL) continues to work with lake associations to help in whatever area there is a need.  Much work is being done on the state level to inform state legislators of the needs of freshwater lakes, streams. and ponds. There are numerous activities being proposed for 2017.

For example, Save the Lakes hosts an annual information day at the Bass Pro Shop, is a presenter at the Land and Water Summit in March at URI alongside DEM, holds an informational forum with the opportunity for lake associations and individuals to talk directly with DEM Director Coit, and sponsors fishing tournaments and a poster contest for school children. This is a great way to meet folks from around the state. Join STL.

— Judy Colaluca

Website

When was the last time you visited our Sand Dam Reservoir Association website? Maybe it was to learn the history of the Association. Or perhaps you wanted to attend one of the Boat Ramp Inspections and looked at the 2016 calendar of tournaments. If you needed a resource like the Association’s by-laws or the names of this year’s Board, you clicked on the Our Association page. Or you follow the progress of the Lake Management team through the website. You ever could have learned more about the Suction Harvester by using the website.

The SDRA website is a useful place for the Association to chronicle its work. You can also get our quarterly newsletters delivered to your email inbox, you know, if you subscribe to the website for updates. If you’d like to subscribe, go to the Welcome page, look to the right side just after “Recent Posts,” and fill in the field that allows you to Subscribe to this Blog. Voila! You’ll get updates fast and efficiently.

If you ever have a news item that you’d like us to feature in a newsletter or special blog post, please feel free to send along an idea to c4tuna31@gmail.com. We’re always looking for contributing writers.  Have a safe holiday travel season.

— Carolyn Fortuna

Final Notes from our SDRA President

In closing, I would like to wish everyone a wonderful Holiday Season!!  And to sincerely say “Thank you” to each SDRA Board member, past and present, whom I have had the honor of working to benefit Smith and Sayles Reservoir community. To my neighbors on our lake, I wish you well and look forward to seeing everyone in and around our lake. Get involved- Many Hands make light work!

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Best to ALL,

Judy

September, 2016 SDRA Newsletter

Sand Dam Reservoir Association Newsletter

www.sanddamreservoir.com

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September, 2016

The Suction Harvester Has Arrived!

We did it! After months of fundraising, grant writing, and membership drives, SDRA accumulated enough capital to purchase a Suction Harvester.  Our Lake Management Committee did significant research and made recommendations to the SDRA Board. Together, we considered types of equipment, the level of our treasury, the costs associated with the expenditure, and the possible benefits.  Ultimately, SDRA made the decision to go ahead and purchase a Suction Harvester from Aquacleaner.

A Suction Harvester is designed to suck up any type of solids that will pass through a hose. By manipulating a hose- — which takes a lot of practice and grace — a diver extracts unwanted plants and solids right from the rooting system, so they don’t grow back as fast. The machine is equipped with filtration that allows the water to pass through it, while capturing plants, rocks, sticks, leaves and assorted debris. This machine is an environmentally friendly means of dealing with an overwhelming problem.

Aquatic vegetation grows and dies each year, sending the skeleton of the plant to the lake’s bottom. There, the plants decompose and fragment. That increases the density of the plants in following seasons and adds to the buildup of organic sediment. Suction Harvesting slows this process down and, over repeated use, may halt the cycle.  In contrast with chemical treatments or weed cutters, a Suction Harvester has the advantage of selectivity. If we want only the milfoil removed but want the lily pads to remain untouched, we can do so.

There are several criteria that must be assessed to determine the rate of progress (ROP) that we can achieve using the Aquacleaner Suction Harvester. These include:

  • Type of plant: A plant’s rooting system dictates how fast we can remove this year’s plant. We’ll attempt to get both this year’s and last year’s plants out.
  • The type of bottom – Soft, silted in bottoms like those in Smith & Sayles Reservoir  make plant removal and its rooting system easier to extract than if we had hard bottoms like clay or sand.  Those require more suction to get to the rooting system of the plant.
  • The density of the plant:   This means that we have to consider how many plants are in a given box as well as how tall they are. More Biomass requires more time to go through a given area.
  • The Depth of the water:  Deeper water slows the rate of progress due to the logistics of moving around while under water and the size of the plants involved.
  • Other: Sometimes there is debris in the area that needs to be cleaned. Leaves, sticks, rocks, and larger items must be removed as part of a shoreline remediation and to maximize use of the lake.

If you’d like to use the Suction Harvester around your property, you must meet several criteria:  1) You must be a SDRA member in good standing. 2) You must be fully trained to use the Suction Harvester. 3) You must sign a liability waiver. Trainings are available for interested SDRA members.  Please contact Rico Colaluca at 401-568-4267 to set up trainings.

President’s Message

As President of SDRA, I am excited and so pleased that so many SDRA Community members have come forward and want to use and support the Harvester.  The weed pull on Saturday, August 13: Successful!!  More than 25 members, of all ages, came to “WORK!” Everyone found something to do and did it well!!  Art, who trailered the extracted weeds to his farm, stated that  most of the weeds sucked up were milfoil with the roots. Perfect!! That is what we want to do– leave the native grasses in the lake to keep our lake natural. Good job, EVERYONE! A big thank you to the Finlaw Family for hosting lunch for a group of hungry SDRA Members! And after the weed pull, Mary organized a successful boat inspection at the boat ramp!! Mary’s work is keeping invasive weeds out  of OUR lake. Presently, rules and procedures are being composed for the harvester. All ideas accepted. This is a work in progress.

Thank you everyone!!

Judy Colaluca

Treasurer’s Update

The purchase of the Suction Harvester has clearly diminished our SDRA financial picture.  So, too, are the regular late summer expenditures, which include our Save the Lakes membership dues, the dam master annual payment, liability insurance payment, and surety/dishonesty bond.

A robust membership drive, the GoFundMe campaign, and a late autumn fundraiser are in the planning stages. Please, if you can help to offset the costs of the Suction Harvester, please donate generously.  It is a commitment to the future health of our lake.

If you have not yet done so, please remember to pay your 2016 dues ($50) to help support efforts to keep our lake beautiful and healthy.

Dues payments can be sent to:

SDRA, PO Box 284, Chepachet, RI 02814

Thanks, everybody, for contributing to the sustainable future for Smith & Sayles Reservoir.

Carolyn Fortuna

Sand Dam Day

How wonderful it was to see many of you at our annual Sand Dam Day celebration! We enjoyed good company, great food, and a simply gorgeous setting on our beautiful lake.

William Carley and Laura Maguire demonstrated amazing Corn-Hole skills, and we were all wowed by our first look at the SDRA suction harvester! The Danvilles were gracious hosts.  Thanks for opening up your home and lakefront to your Sand Dam Reservoir Association neighbors.  It was great!

Milfoil Disposal

Millfoil is an extremely resiliant, opportunistic plant. I hauled about three cubic yards of milfoil from our August 6 weed pull to my compost pile. After four weeks of composting, I decided to examine the pile. The top few inches, baked by the sun, was thoroughly dried, and dead. But just underneath the sun baked surface, I discovered viable, growing milfoil. My discovery prompted me to suggest some words of caution for handling and disposing of milfoil. First, make sure that the milfoil is moved as far from any water body as is physically possible. Be cognizant of surface water flow in and around your disposal site. Ask, “Could any of this milfoil wash back into the pond during a heavy rain?” If so, you need another disposal site! Turning the pile to ensure complete drying will reduce the likelihood of any milfoil growing or escaping. Be careful with fragments. Milfoil segments left on a beach or shoreline are likely to find their way back to the water where they will continue to proliferate.

milfoil

Removed from water, this milfoil plant continues to grow four weeks later.

2016/2017 Officers

President  Judy Colaluca

Vice President  Lynn Kohanski

Treasurer  Carolyn Fortuna

Secretary  Mary O’Keeffe

Directors: Marissa Danville, Eric Lariviere, Brian Sirois

Lake Management Team

Art Searle, Chairman

Dave Morin

Dennis Danville

Sam Hawk

Mary O’Keeffe

Rico Colaluca

 

Please contact Officers or Lake Management Team with questions or comments

 

June 2016 SDRA Newsletter

Sand Dam Reservoir Association

June 2016 Newsletter

www.sanddamreservoir.com

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Board of Directors’ Updates

President’s Update

Summer, wonderful summer is here!!  Without a doubt days are longer and warmer, water crafts are traveling around the lake,  children can be heard laughing as they jump into the lake for the first time: excitement is everywhere. Smith and Sayles is getting ready for all to enjoy!  

One of the best ways to ready yourself for the summer is to attend the Annual Sand Dam Reservoir Association Meeting on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, in Room #9 at the Glocester Town Hall on Main Street in Chepachet. We’ll have a social hour from 6-7pm and the business meeting will run from 7-9pm. (Make sure you have paid your dues so you can vote). There are many important agenda items that need to be discussed, information shared, plans to be developed, and decisions made that directly concern Smith and Sayles Reservoir. Attend and get involved!!

In  your early summer lakefront planning, please consider your actions around the lake. Drainage into our lake constantly occurs — nutrients from fertilizers,  compost piles, filling in to extend your property, and runoff are all polluting our beautiful lake. Our lake needs to be protected and, as lakefront stewards, that is our job!

— Judy Colaluca

Secretary’s Update

During the spring months, the SDRA Board of Directors has met several times to plan and discuss matters of importance to the Sand Dam community. Fundraising, education and outreach, lake management, the proposed 14-home lakefront development, lakefront clean-up efforts, coordination with Keech Pond, fundraising, and planning for the June 15th, 2016 annual meeting have been included on the BOD meeting agendas.

– Mary O’Keeffe

Treasurer’s Update

Quarterly Overview

In the dates from March-June 2016, we have maintained a stable treasury. The receipt of a State Legislative grant for $500 and the continued success of the GoFundMe site (see the Danville’s entry below) have been excellent additions to our treasury over the spring months.  And, of course, our second fundraiser of the fiscal year also helped us to move forward financially.

Wine Tasting Fundraiser at the Purple Cat Vineyard and Winery

Flames burst from the center of the outside patio area, and the sounds of voices and laughter permeated the night air.  SDRA’s second Wine Tasting event took place on Friday, May 20th from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Purple Cat Vineyard and Winery on Money Hill Road in Chepachet.  Inside, guests listened to the sommelier describe the selection of wines.  Across the room, SDRA’s volunteers served an assortment of appetizers including cheeses, dips, pizza strips, lemon squares, cookies, veggies, and many  other different delights.  The late spring Friday became a way for the community to reacquaint after a long winter season.  

In addition to the wine and nibbles, guests had fun bidding on the various Silent Auction gift baskets.  Local merchants such as Purple Cat Vineyard, Inland Marine, Frederickson Farm, Kitson’s Liquors, and Smithfield Supply were generous contributors, as were several SDRA and community members.  Proceeds from the evening were added to the funds that SDRA has been raising toward  the goal of reducing invasive milfoil in Smith & Sayles Reservoir with the construction of a suction harvester.

Dues and Membership

We have a robust membership in place, with 100% of members sustaining their dues payments over the last two years.  If you are one of the very few backdated families who receive this newsletter and have not paid dues for 2015-2016, please send a check to Sand Dam Reservoir Association, PO Box 284, Chepachet, RI 02814 so that you, too, can vote at the June annual meeting.  Thanks to everybody for your generosity and continued support of our Association’s efforts toward sustainable maintenance and protection of our beautiful lake environment.

Please remember to bring a check made out to SDRA in the amount of $50 for 2015-2016 dues.  This will enable you to vote on any action items at the June 15 SDRA Annual Meeting.  Thanks.

Annual Day of Service: Application Pending

One of SDRA’s sustainability partners is Northwest RI Supporters of Open Spaces.  SDRA submitted a proposal to NRI SOS in response to a call to be part of an Annual Day of Service. The opportunity comes from an anonymous local workplace which would designate interested employees to participate in a volunteer project on the morning of Friday, October 14, 2016. We would host another dam clean-up day on Chestnut Hill Road, with the intent of removing any and all debris in proximity to the dam that have accumulated since our last clean-up in spring, 2016.  You can see the narrative here.  The application deadline was June 1; we’ll appraise our membership as soon as we hear back from NRI SOS if our application was or wasn’t approved.

Future Fundraising

With our recent wine tasting fundraiser less than a month old, the SDRA Board is still in the process of assessing our fundraising agenda as a whole, which seeks to deepen our treasury, involve our membership, and enhance community awareness of sustainability issues on Smith & Sayles Reservoir and other New England lakes.  At this writing, we do not have another fundraiser in the works, so, if you have an idea and would like to join with SDRA Board and Committee members to spearhead a fundraiser, please let me know at c4tuna31@gmail.com.

—  Carolyn Fortuna

Committee Reports

Boat Greeter Program

The Boat Greeter Program is an education and outreach effort designed to inform boaters about the importance of proper boater hygiene in preventing the spread of invasive species. Rhode Island is the only state in New England that does not have a formal program to inspect boats for plant and animal material prior to launch in local waters. Boat launch volunteers are stationed at our launch during high traffic times (mainly fishing tournaments) to perform complementary inspections and to talk with boaters about the importance of thoroughly cleaning boats after each use.  

We’ve worked two scheduled tournaments so far this year, inspecting about 25 boats. Consistent with previous seasons, plant material has been found on about 25% of all boats. Participants in the fishing tournaments tend to be receptive, friendly, and well-educated about invasives, yet without a state-supported, formal inspection process a substantial number of these boats still arrive without being properly cleaned and inspected.

Surveys of our beautiful lake have confirmed only one type of invasive aquatic species, variable milfoil. Twelve additional species of aquatic invasive plants, including American Lotus, Brazilian elodea, curly-leaf pondweed, Eurasian milfoil, fanwort, inflated bladderwort, mudmat, parrot feather, spiny naiad, water chestnut, water hyacinth, and yellow floating heart, have been identified in Rhode Island’s ponds and lakes. In addition, eleven freshwater bodies in Rhode Island have confirmed Asian clam (aquatic invasive animal). The most important primary prevention effort we can engage in for our lake is to educate visitors, visually inspect their boats, and remove plant material while “driving home” the importance of proper boater hygiene.

We’re always looking for additional volunteers to help out with this important and rewarding activity. A sign-up sheet will be distributed at the annual meeting. Please feel free to contact me at mokeeffe@providence.edu or 568-2657 if you’d like to learn more about the SDRA Boat Greeter Program.

—- Mary O’Keeffe

Drawdown

The 2015-2016 Drawdown concluded on March 1, 2016.  As noted in the previous newsletter, you may view the drawdown details online. During the summer months, we will continue evaluating drawdown effectiveness in the shallower areas of our lake. The 2016-2017 drawdown is scheduled to start Columbus Day Weekend.

— Judy Colaluca and Art Searle

GoFundMe Site

The GoFundMe.com page, proceeds of which will be used to reduce the invasive milfoil in our lake, continues to support SDRA’s efforts toward sustainable lake management.  We are all aware of the need to be diligent and proactive in controlling the milfoil, and your contribution to the GoFundMe.com page helps us to hire divers and buy necessary supplies to hand pull weeds, among other initiatives.  Please continue to share the GoFundMe page as every dollar counts. Thank you to all of you who donated over the winter months, and feel free to ask us more about the program during our upcoming Annual Meeting on June 15.

Here is the website URL for the GoFundMe Site, in case you have an upcoming birthday and would like to designate a gift in your name. https://www.gofundme.com/sanddamri

— Marissa and Dennis Danville

Keech Pond

In May there was a request from Keech Pond to lower our lake to allow work to be done on the spillway of Keech Pond. John Holmes requested they would need a minimum of 12 inches.  For this to be completed, we would have to lower the lake for Memorial Day Weekend.  Since many folks on Smith & Sayles put their boats in and enjoy the lake at this time, it was decided by the Board not to comply with the request.  Keech Pond agreed to do their work when we lower the lake in October.

— Rico Colaluca

Nomination and Elections

At the Annual Meeting on June 15, two positions will be open.  One is the Treasurer, and the other is one Director.  We do have candidates at this writing for both positions (Carolyn is running again for Treasurer for a final two-year term).  If you would like to put your name in for either position, please notify us ASAP.  We at the Nominating Committee are working alongside the SDRA Board of Directors and Janice Baker, who led the 2015 By-Laws revision, to assure we are interpreting the new two-term language contained within the By-Laws correctly.

Rico Colaluca and Steve Hanley

Save the Lakes

On Thursday, May 26, Save The Lakes received a Resolution from RI State Senate and House of Representatives.  What an honor to have members of the Senate and House stand and applaud for efforts being done by folks across the state. Our boat inspection program here on Smith and Sayles was highlighted by Senator Fogarty. Consider getting involved in STL as there is much to be done on the State level.

— Judy Colaluca

Website and Education

We are conducting a full website review and update in anticipation of the SDRA Annual Meeting on Wednesday, June 15 at the Glocester Town Hall.  Also, if you didn’t get a chance to read about the May 20 Wine Tasting event on our Association website, you can click here to read the blog post.

—Steve Hanley and Carolyn Fortuna

Thanks, everybody.  See you at the SDRA Annual Meeting on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at the Glocester Town Hall.

 

Variance Hearing Postponed until July 11

Hello interested community members,

The variance hearing re: a parcel of land being considered for development on Smith & Sayles Reservoir has been postponed from Monday, June 6, 2016 to Monday, July 11.

Please pass along this information to anyone who does not subscribe to this blog.  See you then! Thanks.

May Wine Tasting Event to Benefit SDRA: Another Fundraising Success

On May 20, 2016, Sand Dam Reservoir Association held its second wine tasting fundraiser, this time at the Purple Cat Vineyard and Winery in Chepachet. More than 60 people attended the event to support the Association, sample the excellent wines on offer, and enjoy the camaraderie.

There was much more than just wine tasting on this evening!  Four huge tables of appetizers dotted the room. The fare included a hot buffalo cream cheese appetizer, a selection of homemade calzones, fresh mozzarella and tomato skewers, a selection of cheeses, refrigerator lemon squares, brownies, and a nachos/ dip/chips station, among many, many other items.  The entire food selection was donated by very generous SDRA members and guests.

The 50/50 raffle drew a lot of interest, as did a new activity, a Silent Auction. Organized by SDRA Board Member Marissa Danville, the items up for bid included, among others, a collection of beach toys, books for summer reading, accessories for the fisherman in the family, a boat fire extinguisher, a crocheted blanket, a terrarium, and two baskets of wine. Local merchants such as Inland Marine, Kitson’s Liquors, Fredrickson Farms, Smithfield Plumbing, and the Purple Cat Vineyard and Winery contributed items to the Silent Auction. Items that drew particular interest were a coat rack, recycled and handcrafted by SDRA Board Member, Eric Lariviere, and a garden implement basket, assembled by SDRA Board Member, Art Searle.

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The Purple Cat Vineyard and Winery is reminiscent of coffee houses of days gone by, with its multiple level seating, sofas, tall tables, and cedar post-and-beam decor. Local musician John Rodgers added to the wonderful atmosphere as he played the guitar and piano and entertained the audience with his melodic voice. We thank the Purple Cat’s owner, Dan, for sponsoring John at the SDRA event.

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The wine tasting evening allowed friends of Sand Dam Reservoir Association to relax and socialize for a few hours. Conversations in the tasting room wine bar and in the quiet nooks made the Purple Cat Vineyard and Winery a delightful gathering place for the Association’s members and guests and a great way to welcome the high season in New England.

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Thank you to all who participated and contributed to a very successful evening. A special shout-out goes to Ashley Hawkes, who has offered significant public relations help to us for both our wine tasting fundraisers this year.  The Colaluca extended family contributed from the beginning to the end of the event with advanced planning, ticket sales, room set up, yummy food, and cleaning tasks. And we designate SDRA member Brian Sirois for the “Most Tickets Sold Award”—- thanks, Brian, for spreading the word and being such an integral part of our Association!

It is the caring and dedication by all our members and our network of concerned citizens that helps us implement our comprehensive Lake Management Plan for Smith and Sayles Reservoir. We continue to address nuisance weed growth at the lake, and fundraisers like this help our Lake Management Committee to guide the SDRA Board in efforts to improve water quality. Our major goal, to provide sensible and long-term solutions for improving water conditions at the lake, benefits everyone who enjoys the recreational opportunities available on Smith & Sayles while also protecting and improving fish and wildlife habitats.  We came one step closer to our goal on this May evening, thanks to our active membership.

May 20 SDRA Fundraiser at the Purple Cat Vineyard and Winery

Please join us for a wine tasting event on Friday, May 20th from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Purple Cat Vineyard and Winery on 11 Money Hill Road in Chepachet, RI.  Proceeds will benefit Sand Dam Reservoir Association. SDRA is a non-profit organization that works in conjunction with a network of other lakes in Rhode Island to maintain high water quality and reduce invasive plant species.

If you haven’t been to the Purple Cat Vineyard and Winery yet, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Reminiscent of coffee houses of days gone by, with its multiple level seating, sofas, tall tables, and cedar post-and-beam decor, the Purple Cat Vineyard and Winery offers tastings of their wines in a relaxed setting.

And what better time is there than a late spring Friday night in May to gather with neighbors and friends and welcome the high season?

In addition to the wine tasting, the fundraiser evening will include a selection of complimentary appetizers, a 50/50 raffle, and a Silent Auction. To reserve your ticket, just click through to May 20 Wine Tasting RSVP and fill in your name and number of guests.

And thanks for spreading the word through your friends and family network. If it’s anything like the last Wine Tasting fundraiser we held last September, this should be a lot of fun!

Here are the details:

SDRA Wine Tasting at the Purple Cat

Vineyard and Winery

Friday, May 20 from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

RSVP to: mjdanville@gmail.com or ashleyhopkins8@live.com

or c4tuna31@gmail.com or judycolaluca@aol.com

Purple Cat Vineyard and Winery

11 Money Hill Road

Chepachet, RI 02814

(behind the old Purple Cat Restaurant)

http://www.purplecatwinery.com/

purple cat sign

Winter 2016 Newsletter

Sand Dam Reservoir Association Newsletter

www.sanddamreservoir.com

logo

Winter Newsletter 2016:  

Looking Ahead to Spring and Summer

 

Board of Directors’ Updates

Officers

Today is a glorious morning— the lake appears to have diamonds sparkling as the waves ripple! Individually, each of us sees something different as we look at OUR lake. But, together, we are moving forward to do what is best for OUR lake.

The teamwork continues, and the membership is growing. I encourage you, if you are not involved, get involved.  There are many areas of concern, and your point of view needs to be heard. Join a committee, become active on the boat inspection team, help plan an event, do some lake research, write a grant, or build a buffer zone in front of your property to eliminate the runoff from your lawn into our lake. This year, there was not a “total” freeze on the lake to kill the milfoil. Therefore, it is more important than ever that you eliminate fertilizing as it “feeds” the weeds as you are “feeding”  your lawn. Please consider not applying nutrients! Thank you!!

Save the Date:  Wednesday, June 15, 2016 is the date for the SDRA Annual Meeting, which will take place at the Glocester Town Hall, Room 9. At the Annual Meeting this year, you will have the opportunity to share your thoughts and learn from your neighbors what is “happening” around the lake, in the lake, at the bottom of the lake, and the filling of the lake. The  2016 plans will be announced, and an election of officers will take place. Please see news under the Nominating Committee below if you’d like to become a SDRA Board member.  

As always, it is my pleasure to be a member of SDRA and work with others to accomplish its Mission!  Your neighbor,

Judy (judycolaluca@aol.com).

Secretary- Mary O’Keeffe

We look forward to spring and summer 2016 with an eye towards welcoming new members and welcoming back former members whose membership may have lapsed. If you have new neighbors, please encourage them to contact me (sdra.secretary@cox.net or 568-2657) so that I can include them on our email/mail list to receive newsletters and important announcements.

Current members are encouraged to send updates of email or USPS mailing addresses. Former members may send dues checks ($50) to SDRA, PO Box 284, Chepachet, RI 02814 to renew membership and ensure continued delivery of SDRA newsletters and announcements.

Treasurer-  Carolyn Fortuna

The first quarter of 2016 has been quite stable financially for SDRA.  Due to a membership drive, we have maintained 100% of members over the past two years.  The most important tasks we designated for 2015 continue ahead for SDRA in 2016: to increase the balance in our treasury so that we can embark on as many sustainability endeavors as possible.  We want to protect and enrich our lake environment, and that, often, comes with associated financial costs.  

As treasurer, I address our financial needs, but I also have a corresponding responsibility to seek out grant possibilities.  A grant proposal with which we have much success is a RI Community Grant.   Due to the continued generosity of Senator Fogarty’s office, SDRA was the recipient of a 2015-2016 Community Grant in the amount of $500.  The proceeds from the Community Grant are directed to the important work our Dam Master does in controlling the lake levels and guiding dam maintenance.   We are always on the lookout for grant opportunities, so please don’t hesitate to forward a grant call for proposals our way, especially if you see a good fit  for SDRA and can help to guide the grant application process.

Another tangent of the SDRA Treasurer’s position is to initiate or collaborate in fundraisers. We are so lucky to have a team of individuals who put in lots of behind-the-scenes hours toward our fundraisers.  Right now, we have two active fundraisers underway… read below to learn more!

Sincerely,

Carolyn 🙂 (c4tuna31@gmail.com)

May SDRA Fundraiser at the Purple Cat Vineyard and Winery

11 Money Hill Road

Chepachet, RI 02814

http://www.purplecatwinery.com/

Friday, May 20 from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Tickets: $20 in advance — $25 at the door

RSVP to: mjdanville@gmail.com or ashleyhopkins8@live.com or c4tuna31@gmail.com

Please join us for a wine tasting event on Friday, May 20th from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Purple Cat Vineyard and Winery on Money Hill Road in Chepachet.  If you haven’t been there yet, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Reminiscent of coffee houses of days gone by, with its multiple level seating, sofas, tall tables, and cedar post-and-beam decor, the Purple Cat Vineyard and Winery offers tastings of their wines in a relaxed setting.  And what better time is there than a late spring Friday night in May to gather with neighbors and friends and welcome the high season?

While there will be much more information to follow, we are planning, in addition to the wine tasting, a selection of complimentary appetizers, a 50/50 raffle, and a Silent Auction. Proceeds will help in our goals to reduce invasive milfoil in Smith & Sayles Reservoir.  If you’d like to participate in planning this fundraiser, we would appreciate donations to the Silent Auction and Appetizer tables, assisting in ticket sales, spreading the word through your friends and family network, and/ or offering a helping hand at the end of the night on the cleaning committee.  

Please let us know if you’re able to be part of this fun community-building event.

GoFundMe.com — Marissa and Dennis Danville

To date we have raised $885 through our GoFundMe.com page, all of which will be used to reduce the invasive milfoil in our lake. This winter has been warmer than average and, thus, creates additional unforeseen challenges in controlling milfoil as the spring season draws upon us. In order for the drawdown to be effective, there needs to be a substantial layer of ice and frozen ground for an extended period of time. Please see the Drawdown news below for more specific information about this winter’s weather effects on our efforts to control invasive species.  No matter the weather, we need to be diligent and proactive in controlling the milfoil, and your contribution to the GoFundMe.com page helps us to hire divers and buy necessary to hand pull weeds, among other initiatives.

Please continue to share the GoFundMe page, as every dollar counts. Thank you to all of you who donated over the holidays.  https://www.gofundme.com/sanddamri

Boat Greeter Program – Mary O’Keeffe

Volunteers from SDRA contributed nearly 100 hours of outreach and education to promote proper boater hygiene in order to prevent the spread of invasive species. A total of 44 boaters allowed us to perform complementary inspections at the boat launch (substantially fewer than the 100+boats we inspected during the 2014 season – low water levels led to the cancellation of a number of scheduled tournaments). Plant material was found on 25% of the inspected boats and trailers – while not all plant material was confirmed to be invasive, the high percentage of “dirty” boats reinforces the importance of educating boaters on the critical role of cleaning boats, trailers, and equipment between uses in order to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species.

The 2016 fishing season gets underway April 1st. Soon we will receive a list of this year’s tournaments and schedule times to work the boat launch. We are always looking for new volunteers. On-the-job training is provided and you get to hang out at the boat launch, chat with boaters, and do good works all with the backdrop of our glorious lake. Dates and times will be posted in a future newsletter but if you think you might be interested, don’t wait! Send me an email (sdra.secretary@cox.net) or give me a call (568-2657) and I can send you the RI Boat Greeters’ Handbook to get you started.

Finally, please remember to enforce good boater hygiene for friends and family members who launch from your property, and be sure to practice it yourself. A very small plant fragment can contaminate an entire lake. To date, Smith & Sayles (aka Sand Dam) Reservoir’s only confirmed invasive aquatic species is variable milfoil (and we all know what a problem that is!). Nearby lakes have invasive plants including fanwort, bladderwort, spiny naiad, mudmat, curly leaf pondweed, parrot feather, water chestnut, Eurasian milfoil, and Brazilian elodea. Seven lakes and one river in the state are contaminated with Asian clams, and nearby CT and MA lakes have Zebra Mussels.

Practice and require these simple steps to help protect our beautiful lake:

  • Inspect and clean. Examine boats and trailers before and after any use. Carefully remove any mud, plant or animal material before transporting boats, recreational equipment, fishing gear or equipment.
  • Allow time to dry. Clean and dry anything that came in contact with the water (boat, trailers, recreational equipment, clothing, dogs, etc.)
  • Isolate and drain. Empty water from boat wells and motors far away from lakes and rivers.
  • Discard into trash. Dispose any unused bait into proper garbage receptacles; do not empty bait buckets into the water. Dispose of plant material far from water’s edge.
  • Prevent releases. Avoid disposing plants, fish or animals from aquariums or water gardens into local water bodies.

(from http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benviron/water/quality/surfwq/aisindex.htm)

Drawdown – Judy Colaluca and Art Searle

The drawdown for the 2015-2016 winter is concluded. You may review our records about the drawdown at https://sites.google.com/site/sdradrawdown/2015-drawdown. You may view a lake level visual at https://goo.gl/vwVqqa.

Here is a by-the-numbers summary of the drawdown:

  • The Colaluca family made and recorded 105 lake level measurements.
  • Mike Benoit made and recorded dissolved oxygen levels.
  • Dave Morin made countless adjustments to the low level water outlet to moderate the lake level.
  • Our records indicate there were ten days where the average temperature for the day was at freezing or below and there was no snow or ice covering the exposed lake bed. Both conditions are important for killing milfoil. The chart below illustrates the lake level on the prime freezing days. While the most recent winter was nowhere near as brutal as the winter 2014-2015, we remain hopeful that our hard work results in reduced milfoil.

We recognize that drawdown is not the single, encompassing solution we might like. Yet, we believe in the effort and its proven success at controlling milfoil in the shallower regions of the lake. We hope to conduct another drawdown during the winter of 2016-2017

Keech Pond Liaison – Rico Colaluca

I  talked  with John Holmes at the beginning of February and discussed what Keech Pond has in the works for the coming season. He tells me they are going to study and examine their dam structure and look for any kind of holes which may have been made by little creatures and fill them back in. He informs me  these holes are their main concern as they will weaken the dam.

John also told me their gate is now fully open.

Lake Management Plan – Rico Colaluca

Our Lake Management plan is a revolving door and keeps moving forward with the help of the  lake management team. Please ask a member how you can help.

Nomination and Elections – Rico Colaluca and Steve Hanley

The Nominating Committee would like to hear from you if you have any suggestions prior to our Annual Meeting in June.  This is an opportunity to help your lake Association to grow, flourish, and thrive.  We will be requesting nominations from the floor at the Annual Meeting.  

If you would like to run for office or know someone who does, please inform Steve or Rico.   If you want to join the SDRA Board, please contact Steve Hanley (schanley45@gmail.com) or Rico Colaluca (rcolaluca@aol.com).

Save the LakesJudy Colaluca

On April 9th BassPro Shop at Patriots Place will be hosting the second Annual “Celebrate Your Love of Lakes” Day.  Join us for this fun event. This is great opportunity to meet and discuss what is happening on OUR lake with others who care deeply about freshwater. There will be professional  fishermen from neighboring Massachusetts  and Connecticut attending to share some fishing hints.  We hope to see you there and share in the fun.

Save The Lakes will be holding its Annual Meeting on April 28 at the Coventry Senior Center, 6:30 to 8:30 PM, at 50 Wood Street in Coventry. DEM will be discussing their plans for 2016, and Linda Green from the URI Watershed Watch will be presenting.  This will be an interesting and informative meeting. Please join us. Come join our community of lake advocates and learn along with us.  We’d be delighted to see you there.  

Social News

Congratulations to Sammy Hawkes and Ashley Hopkins, who were married in October, 2015.  They are also expecting their first child in July, 2016.  Moreover, best wishes go out to Marissa and Denny Manville, who will add a second child to their wonderful family in 2016.  

Carolyn Fortuna said goodbye to her dad, Andrew Fortuna, who died early in 2016 after suffering a stroke.  On April 2nd, Mrs “B” (Florence Beauregard) will turn 97 years old!  She is looking forward to warm sunny days to sit outside on the deck.  

If you have news that you’d like to share with your lake community, please contact Lynn Kohanski (lynnkohanski@yahoo.com).