PROVIDENCE - Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit will be the guest speaker at an informational meeting of Save the Lakes next Tuesday, February 5. The meeting will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Elks Lodge located at 326 Farnum Pike in Smithfield.
Save the Lakes is the only statewide organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of Rhode Island's lakes, ponds, and fresh water resources. The organization provides a forum for education, discussion, and action on lake-related issues and fresh water management policies at the local, state, and federal levels.
Director Coit will provide general comments on the quality, quantity, and threats to lakes such as the algal blooms that have been found on many of the state's water bodies in recent years. She will also offer an update on the environmental bond issue recently passed by Rhode Island voters that targets $200,000 for restoration of Narragansett Bay and its watershed, and highlight partnership efforts DEM has undertaken with Save the Lakes to preserve, protect, and improve the state's fresh water bodies. In 2011, Save the Lakes in conjunction with DEM launched a pilot boat ramp outreach program to educate boaters about the importance of not transporting invasive species from one lake to another. A question and answer period will follow Director Coit's remarks. DEM staff from the Division of Agriculture and Office of Water Resources will be available to answer members' questions about herbicide permits and water quality issues.
As a 501(c) 3 qualified non-profit organization, Save the Lakes is managed entirely by volunteers. Members receive information on current and critical lake issues through email communications, access to environmental agency personnel at forums and workshops, and opportunities to network with other members at events. Permanent or part-time lake area residents, recreational lake users, and lake area or lake-dependent businesses interested in joining the organization may contact Save the Lakes President Judy Colaluca at 568-4267.