JULY 12, 2014
Today happened to be one of the most exciting and rewarding days that I have spent as an intern for SLA for a number of reasons. It started bright and early at 7 am, as Kendall, Caroline H, Ian C, and I loaded the dive boat with all the necessary equipment for a 10 hour day on the lake pulling milfoil. A piping hot cup of coffee and appreciative waves from other boaters as we drove towards our first milfoil removal destination at Asquam Marina gave me the necessary motivation to slip into my wet suit (still soaked from diving the day before), assemble my scuba setup, and finally fall flippers first into the frigid morning water. After 2 hours and several gallons of harvested milfoil, I triumphantly emerge from the depths feeling proud to have been a part of the eradication of milfoil in Squam. Soon after, our dive team is summoned by Rebecca to the Ashland Town Forest where she is teaching a group from the Forest Service's Youth Conservation Corp about the basics of identifying and surveying for milfoil. A few of the YCC volunteers came aboard the dive boat, and we were able to demo the DASH (Diver Assisted Suction Harvester) system and share some of our milfoil knowledge gained over the last 2 months. It was inspiring to be able to pass on this information to a group of younger, conservation-minded individuals. Next, we surveyed the entire Ashland Town Forest to no avail for milfoil (thankfully), and found only a few plants after we ate lunch across Little Squam at Evans Cove. We parted ways with the YCC after this and pulled milfoil at 2 more locations on Squam before heading back to the SLA headquarters with our heads held high and over 40 gallons of harvested milfoil.