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Sunday, June 11, 2023

Senate passes Sue Sosnowski bill to create new lake management program

Would generate a fund to control invasive species, algae blooms

Photo by Will Collette
The Senate passed legislation introduced by Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37, South Kingstown) that would create the Rhode Island Lake Management Program.

The bill (2023-S 0502A) would create a restricted receipt account to aid with lake and pond management issues relating to the control of invasive aquatic plants.

“Local wetlands are being threatened by invasive aquatic weeds,” said Senator Sosnowski. “This bill would be a first step to start a program at the Department of Environmental Management. The situation is becoming worse with warming temperatures, and it’s creating biological imbalance in these freshwater bodies. We have to be proactive to protect our lakes, which provide us with recreation, flood mitigation and an important habitat to plants and animals.”

Conditions in many Rhode Island lakes, ponds and tributaries are threatened or degraded by the growth of aquatic invasive plants, harmful algal blooms, nutrient enrichment and other water pollution problems. Restoring conditions in the state’s freshwater resources is essential to sustaining the valuable ecosystem services they provide.

The measure now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.