Washington Museum featuring a program on the ecology of Lake Waramaug

WASHINGTON — The Gunn Historical Museum will present a guest lecture “How the Lake Waramaug Task Force Brought the Lake Back from the Shore” with Sean Hayden, executive director of the Lake Waramaug Task Force, at 6:30 p.m. May 16 on Zoom.

From the Gunn Historical Museum: Historically, Lake Waramaug was a clean, clear lake, but the lake began to show signs of real distress from the 1950s and continued to deteriorate throughout the 1970s and into the early 1980s. Lake eutrophication (the gradual death of a lake) was accelerating dramatically and something had to be done as the persistent blooms of toxic algae, dangerous to human health, were becoming an ongoing problem. Recreational activities on the lake were curtailed, real estate values ​​plummeted, and the lake’s future did not look promising. Uncontrolled runoff from farms, septic systems, lawns, homes and roads in the lake’s watershed area has produced phosphorus levels that have soared to more than 30 parts per million.

In response to this plight, the Lake Waramaug Task Force was founded in 1975 by a group of concerned lake residents. Through the dedicated efforts of volunteers, the task force has raised substantial funds from federal, state, and private sources to support cutting-edge scientific research in limnology (the study of lakes). There are many water quality projects and programs that the Task Force has developed and implemented over the past four decades, and Mr. Hayden will provide a photo-rich tour through everything the Task Force has work done for Lake Waramaug and its watershed. Their work which has yielded nothing less than spectacular results as evidenced by the restoration of the lake.

Hayden served as Executive Director of the Lake Waramaug Task Force for four years and has over 30 years of experience in environmental conservation and extensive knowledge of the ecology and history of Lake Waramaug. Prior to joining the task force, Sean spent 18 years as an executive director and soil scientist at the Northwest Conservation District (NCD). During his tenure at NCD, Sean worked side-by-side with CT’s 34 Northwest cities and residents, including the task force, to conserve natural resources using sustainable development strategies.

He is a Low Impact Development (LID) Expert and Certified Soil Scientist, Army Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineator, and Erosion and Sediment Control Professional. He has worked with several wetland and zoning commissions to revise municipal bylaws, watershed planning, sediment and erosion control, and stormwater quality management plans. Prior to working at NCD, Sean spent 3 years as an agro-forester with the Peace Corps in Kenya. Sean graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BS in Renewable Natural Resource Management and Engineering. He and his wife, Rose Guimaraes, live in Torrington and are passionate ‘outdoor people’.

The Waramaug Lake Working Group and the Waramaug Lake Association are sponsors of this conference.

About Bobby F. Lopez

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