LEWISTON – The ongoing battle against a waterborne weed will be the focus of a summit scheduled for Friday morning.

The ninth annual Maine Milfoil Summit will take place beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College. The event is free and open to the public, and is scheduled to run until noon.

According to the Lakes Environmental Association in Bridgton, two species of non-native milfoil present a threat to Maine’s lakes. While five species of milfoil are part of the regular ecosystem, variable leaf-milfoil and Eurasian water milfoil can crowd out native species and clog rivers and lakes. Pieces of a fragmented milfoil plant can regenerate, making it difficult to remove.

Peter Lowell, executive director of the association, will open the summit at 9 a.m. after the morning registration. Lowell, along with Maggie Shannon of the Congress of Lake Associations, will speak later in the program about the courtesy boat inspection program that seeks to prevent the spread of milfoil.

Other speakers at the summit will include Amy Smagula of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Scott Lowell of the Little Sebago Lake Association, and Roberta Hill of the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program.

The agenda also includes updates on state efforts by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

The summit organizing efforts and invasives program are sponsored by the Arthur G. and Geraldine L. Connolly family. It is co-sponsored by the Lakes Environmental Association, Congress of Lake Associations, Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Maine Center for Invasive Aquatic Plants, Maine Lakes Conservancy Institute, Portland Water District, and the Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program.

No alternate date has been set in the event of inclement weather. People interested in attending the summit are asked to call the Lakes Environmental Association at 647-8580 before traveling if road conditions appear to be poor.

For more information, contact Peter Lowell at the same phone number.

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