The Economic Impact of Eurasian Milfoil on Property Values

Eurasian Milfoil is an aggressive aquatic weed that upon introduction can rapidly fill the littoral areas of lakes impacting recreation and habitat.  It also can have a significant impact on the enjoyment of the lake by shoreline property owners.  Lakeside homes are often some of the higher valued properties in an area because of the perceived value of the lake access out the back door.

When that lakefront is choked with the invasive weed Eurasian Milfoil, this value can be severely impacted just as the enjoyment and use of the lake is impacted.  There are some recent studies that documents the decline in property values directly associated with the invasion of Eurasian Milfoil.

Congwen Zhang published a study in the journal Ecological Economics found that as milfoil invades a lake, property values diminish by from 1% to 16% as the invasion progresses.   That article can be accessed here Effect of Eurasian Milfoil on lakefront property value

A second study from King County, Washington that looked at the impact of milfoil on property values found that the presence of Eurasian Milfoil can have a significant negative effect on property sales price ($94,385 USD lower price) corresponding to a 19% decline in property value.  This study can be accessed here King County Study

Lastly, this report shows the impact prior and post treatment for Houghton Lake in Michigan where an aggressive treatment strategy restored value to the regions economy.  This article can be viewed here Houghton Lake Study



IAVMP Plan Presentation Tomorrow Night

The City will be hosting a meeting tomorrow night March 22nd at the Mann Middle School Library, 11509 Holden Road, SW Lakewood, WA.  The meeting will start at 6:30 pm and include a presentation on the Integrated Aquatic Vegetation Management Plan developed by the City and local steering committee to combat the invasive Eurasian Milfoil present in the lake.

All are welcome.

Third Draft of Integrated Aquatic Vegetation Management Plan is Available

The Steering Committee has completed the third draft of the American Lake Integrated Aquatic Vegetation Management Plan (IAVMP).  This document will be discussed at a upcoming public meeting that the City will announce shortly.

To view the documents, American Lake IAVMP Revised Draft 3-2-2018

Remember to check back in the next week or so to get the dates for the Public Presentation and Comment session.

Steering Committee Meeting Today January 4th

The Steering Committee will be meeting today to review the first draft of the Integrated Aquatic Vegetation Management Plan for American Lake.  This will allow members that have reviewed the draft document to provide input.  The group may also start to narrow down options for control and work to put together the next public meeting to present findings.  Stay tuned for additional information on that.

First Public Meeting to Discuss IAVMP

On October 26th, a public meeting was held in Lakewood for the residents and stakeholders of American Lake.  The Integrated Aquatic Vegetation Management Planning Process involves studying the problem present in the lake, evaluating all potential treatment options and presenting this information to the community so they can understand options and help formulate recommended approaches.

A copy of the PowerPoint presentation can be viewed here.

Summer 2017 E. Milfoil Infestation Map

The Summer 2017 E. Milfoil Survey results are available by viewing the map linked to this page.  Clicking on this link will bring the viewer to ArcOnline, a interactive GIS web map.  This map shows the “threat zone” on American Lake, or those areas of the lake that could support Eurasian Milfoil Growth.  It also shows the current infestation.

Users can zoom in and out to look at areas of interest on the lake.  They can also enter their address and view conditions adjacent to their properties.

To view the map, click on this link 2017 Eurasian Milfoil Coverage American Lake

American Lake Threatened by Eurasian Milfoil

Over the past few years, American Lake residents have experienced an increase in the presence of the noxious aquatic weed Eurasian Milfoil.  This invasive plant has a direct impact on lake use, it can plug boat motors and engine intakes, take over swimming beaches and pose a threat to swimmers.  Eurasian Milfoil if left unchecked can also have dramatic impacts on the aquatic environment.

The City of Lakewood and concerned citizens on the lake recognized this and last year applied for and received an grant from the Washington Department of Ecology to develop and Integrated Aquatic Vegetation Management Plan (IAVMP for short).

The process of developing this plan has started.  The lake was mapped this past summer and a good understanding of present and potentially future infestation has been developed.  The planning team has assessed aquatic plant management options for Eurasian Milfoil that are applicable to American Lake.

This web site will be used over the course of the project to keep the community informed on this process so sign up for notices and check back often to track the progress of the planning process.