Friends of Lake Williams

Background Information


In the fall of 1997 an invasive aquatic vegetation named variable leaf milfoil was discovered in Lake Williams in Lebanon Connecticut. Milfoil infestation affects people's ability to enjoy swimming, recreational boating, and fishing. At that time, it was estimated that it covered 3-5 acres. It spread rapidly to cover approximately 35-40 acres in just one year. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) advised that based on the existing sediment and the depth of water in Lake Williams, untreated milfoil would continue to spread very rapidly, consuming the lake. Milfoil also has a negative effect on the aquatic life in the lake. Finally, a recent University of Connecticut study concluded that the impact to property values would be significant.

In response to this problem a group of concerned lake residents formed Friends of Lake Williams (FLW) in 1998. FLW incorporated and obtained non-profit status with the IRS. FLW members educated themselves about milfoil, various treatment options and about lake management through seminars, membership in the Connecticut Federation of lakes, discussions with consultants and the DEP as well as discussions with residents of other lakes who are dealing with the same problem.

FLW currently enjoys a membership of 137 people. Some accomplishments brought about with the support of members and donors include:

  1. Producing informative newsletters for members, lake residents and town officials
  2. Influencing significant media coverage of the lake and its issues
  3. Educating town officials and establishing a very strong and credible relationship with the Selectmen, Board of Finance and local State representatives
  4. Organizing several fund raising activities
  5. Obtaining two small state grants
  6. Conducting two fishing classes for local children to raise awareness
  7. Helping to influence a bill being considered in the State legislature to ban the sale and transport of invasive aquatic plants in Connecticut.
  8. Co-sponsoring a Boating Safety Course with the Lebanon Fire Department

In addition, two FLW members are on the Board of Directors of Connecticut Federation of Lakes. Lastly, our water quality committee has purchased equipment and supplies necessary to conduct a comprehensive ongoing water quality monitoring program beginning in the spring of 2002.

FLW is very pleased that Lebanon Town officials and residents are supportive of our efforts to preserve the lake. FLW also appreciates their members, members who have made donations in addition to payment of their annual dues and all of their dedicated volunteers. If you are a member of Friends of Lake Williams, please continue your support by renewing your membership for our fiscal year that begins July 1. If you are not a member, please consider joining to ensure a healthy future for the lake you enjoy. In any event, FLW encourages Town of Lebanon voters to continue supporting important budget items that are meant to ensure that Lake Williams will remain one of the town's valuable assets and that it will continue to be a source of enjoyment for all.

To apply for membership, please select and print the application, provide the requested information and mail it with the requested fee as indicated.