By David Reichert – March 2023
This nearly $10,000 grant will be used for educational outreach, to purchase and plant native flora and to measure the impact of these plantings on the local water quality. The goal is to start creating a self-sustaining natural filter for the nutrients that otherwise would enter the lake and cause harmful algae blooms.
Launched in 2007, Clear into the Future® (CITF) is a DuPont initiative to protect and improve the natural environment through community engagement and education. Clear Into the Future® is an employee-driven program that provides funding for projects in DuPont Communities that are organized by non-profit and academic institutions and aligned with the purpose of CITF: to drive positive impact by protecting the environment and empowering our communities to thrive.
We are all familiar with the Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) in Lake Anna, but how many of us understand how robust shoreline plant buffers and submerged aquatic vegetation can help reduce HABs? The outreach portion of this program will focus on increasing awareness of how property owners along the feeder streams and lakefront can have a positive impact on reducing HABs.
Most of the grant money will be spent on purchasing native aquatic flora to be planted in the northern areas of the lake near the confluence of the tributaries and the lake. The goal of the plantings is for the vegetation to absorb existing nutrients and those additional nutrients being fed into the lake thereby reducing the food available for harmful algae growth. To maximize the number of plants we can buy, we will use volunteer labor during the spring growing season to perform the planting. We’ll issue a call for volunteers a couple months before the planting season.
The final portion of this project will be to expand the existing water quality monitoring program to add sampling in the areas of the plantings. By combining the legacy monitoring data with the new data, we hope to be able to show measurable water quality benefits from the plantings.