Lake Ecosystem Restoration Project Begins

As summer turns to autumn and cooler weather sets in, be on the lookout for a Lake transformation. SAMLARC’s new Lake maintenance company, Lake Management, is implementing the Aquatic Midge Treatment Plan to arrest the growth of the aquatic midge fly population, reduce algae growth, and increase water clarity; a plan that has already begun to produce results. Over the months of October and November, an even greater change will begin: The Lake Ecosystem Restoration Project.

The Restoration Project, approved at the August 2018 Board Meeting, aims to build an aquatic ecosystem that both fosters healthy aquatic life, improves water quality, and deters golden algae. The objective of the Project is to re-balance the Lake’s mineral and nutrient levels without sustained dependence on chemical treatment. This Project is a component of the large-scale Lake Ecosystem Repair Project and will help to prepare the water quality for eventual irrigation usage.

Board Director Dennis Reid, who is also the Chair of the Lake Ad Hoc Committee, met with SAMLARC Staff and vendors on September 10, 2018 to discuss the shape and placement of the floating botanical islands, and again on October 8, 2018 to discuss the plants which will populate the islands. Twenty-two (22) islands will be placed along the perimeter of the Lake, each covering approximately fifty-two (52) square feet. The islands will host about sixty (60) plants per island, creating lush accents above the waterline and nutrient-absorbing root systems underwater. The plants for each island will be carefully selected from a palette of plants proven to thrive on floating islands in Southern California. These plants must include root systems that flourish in nutrient-laden environments, withstand Rancho Santa Margarita’s long and hot summers, and enhance the Lake’s natural beauty.