State Representative David Arconti (D-Danbury) and State Representative Stephen Harding (R-Brookfield, Bethel, Danbury), both members of the Legislature’s Environment Committee, listened to testimony from the public Friday in support of House Bill 5503, An Act Concerning Lake Authorities and Combating Invasive Plant and Animal Species.
“As our most precious natural resource, we have to make sure our waters are protected,” said Rep. Arconti. “I believe we’re doing a good job of keeping Lake Candlewood and other lakes and rivers in our area free of pollution. This legislation will safeguard them from nature as well. It would be terrible to lose these waters to an invasive plant or animal because we didn’t take action.”
“The proposal that I put forth would use existing money that is already going out to land preservation and similar environmental efforts,” said Rep. Harding. “My goal is to share some of those funds in protecting our lakes. Lakes Candlewood and Lillinonah are such valuable resources in my district, I want to make sure that we safeguard them from harmful invasive species that could carry disease and take away vital nutrients from native species.”
Representatives Arconti and Harding co-sponsored the legislation. Property owners and others who use area lakes and rivers for recreation are concerned with the zebra mussel and blue-green algae. Both can hinder the health of waterways as well as do damage to boats and docks. Their proliferation, left unchecked, can lead to other unwelcome species making their way into the waters.