The Environmental Protection Agency has a cool widget that allows the public to view data on the water quality and status of all bodies of water in your immediate community. I was amazed at the amount of information provided about the different designations of water quality and its use for recreation, drinking, aquatic life, and even seafood consumption. Upon referencing my zip code I was able to see all of the neighboring waterways, estuaries, rivers, and coastal waters.
A search of Lake Maurepas alerted me to research the quality of water for aquatic life. The widget issued a warning of "compromised" relating to the Lake's quality for aquatic life. The Lake's classification for recreation/swimming and fishing yielded a grade of "good" , but a "red" compromised status for aquatic plant life. Further investigation revealed that an invasive aquatic plant that was not indigenous to Lake Maurepas was taking over the Lake. This intrusion was making life miserable for all of the native aquatic plants thereby changing the dynamics of this ecosystem. This change bode well for this invasive aquatic plant, but at the expense of the native aquatic plants that once contributed to the balance of Lake Maurepas. Hence, what was once a Fishing paradise has become a recluse of fishery and more of a recreational waterway. Thus, it stands to reason that the change inflicted on this Lake via this invasive plant has had ramifications that extend to the fish and seafood which fed on the native aquatic plants. Consequently a reduction of certain aquatic plants can result in a reduction of fish and other seafood in the Lake that fed off of these native aquatic plants.
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