Aquatic Vegetation Inventory and Mapping at Promised Land State Park
This project was undertaken, primarily, to improve our understanding of the aquatic vegetation of the lakes at Promised Land State Park. Both Promised Land Lake and Lower Lake are home to substantial diversity of aquatic plant species, but vary in physical structure, species assemblages, and specific plant community composition. Multiple methodologies were used to survey for species presence and attempt to characterize communities. It is well understood that the Bureau of State Parks is under pressure from competing interests to manage its aquatic resources for purposes ranging from biological conservation to various forms of active recreation. These interests are often at odds and irreconcilable, particularly in the context of aquatic ecosystems. In both cases, Promised Land Lake and Lower Lake, we advise that no effort be undertaken to actively manage aquatic vegetation, in spite of the presence of large populations of Myriophyllum heterophyllum, an aggressive weed, in both lakes. We further suggest that additional resources be dedicated to continuing examination of aquatic resources at Promised Land State Park. This baseline study represents an opportunity to build a thorough scientific study over time.