Environmental Issues & Initiatives

ESLA is your advocate for the health of Elk and Skegemog lakes and the Elk, Torch and the lower Rapid rivers. Consider some priorities:

  • Identifying, discouraging transport and, when possible, removing invasive species;
  • Following science on tough issues like Swimmers’ Itch and seeking ways to avoid the itch;
  • Lobbying public agencies – one recent payoff is annual planting of brown trout in Elk Lake;
  • Promoting natural shorelines, discouraging fertilized lawns to the water’s edge;
  • Building loon nesting platforms for the birds we love;
  • Seeking answers to the golden brown algae dilemma;
  • Identifying areas of concern and advocating smarter septic, sewage control policies.

Invasive Species

Invasive species are a problem because they disrupt the natural ecology and choke out resources for native plants and animals. Learn how to identify invasive species, the issues surrounding them and what you can do to prevent them on our invasive species page.

Rapid River

ESLA advocates studies examining the heavy sand and sediment accumulation in Rapid River, especially downstream from Aarwood Bridge to the mouth of the Torch River. ESLA also is working with agencies to reinforce the Rugg Pond dam, and subsequently remove sediment from the pond to prevent a potential catastrophic release into the Rapid River.

To learn more about Rapid River, go to our Rapid River page.


Everything You Need To Know About

The health of our aquatic systems is often measured by the life it supports. The Common Loon, an iconic symbol of wilderness that inspires admiration among naturalists and artists alike, is a sentinel of environmental health. Learn more about loon banding, the “Loon Scout” program run by the Michigan Loon Preservation Association and how you can help the loon population on our Loon: The Majestic Bird page.

Summer’s Itch

There are several means by which you can significantly reduce your chances of contracting the Swimmer’s Itch parasite. Find our how you can reduce swimmer’s itch and the steps ESLA is taking to track outbreaks on our Swimmers’ Itch Page.

Boat Washes

Boat washes can help stop aquatic hitch hikers and reduce the spread of invasive species. Every year ESLA proudly partners with Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council to promote the importance of the State’s 2019 law, “Clean, Drain and Dry.” Stay tuned to learn the dates of the 2021 boat washes at White Water Park. And learn more about boat washes on boat washes page.

Skegemog Wilderness Area

A fantastic natural resource along the east shore of Lake Skegemog, fondly known as “the swamp,” with pathways maintained by volunteers. Check out the Skegemog Wilderness Area page.

Best Practices and Local Resources

Tips and tricks for preserving our beautiful area as well as local agencies to help you do so! Visit our Best Practices page

Outside Our Area

While these topics are directly related to our area, we feel they are of interest to our members. Check out our Outside Our Area page to learn more about our surrounding area.

Join The Elk-Skegemog Lakes Association