Aquatechnex Joins the Alliance for Water Stewardship

Aquatechnex is pleased to announce that the company has joined the Alliance for Water Stewardship.  This international organization.  Their mission is to “Promote responsible use of freshwater that is both socially beneficial and environmentally sustainable”.  As part of their program, they are developing criteria to certify water managers.  Our biologists plan to study this program as they put it forth and participate to receive certification.  We believe there is much this organization can do to help us in our mission and that through collaboration we can offer solutions to other members as well.  For more information click on their link on our blog roll to the right of this page.  You might also enjoy this article on an associated matter http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5govFpteVga3nfJ_dVo_tldl59_3w

Aquatechnex donates to APMS Scholorship Fund

The Aquatic Plant Management Society (www.apms.org) is the leading professional scientific society in the field we work in.  We have been members of this organization since 1977 and many of our employees have served as board members.  Terry McNabb was elected the president of this organization and served in 1995-1996.  One of the key missions of APMS is making sure we have young people moving through the steps of education and obtaining advanced degrees in this field.  Working in this field and focusing on sustainability means we need fresh young Masters and PhD scientists entering the field and doing the research necessary to help us do a better job.

We have donated to the Scholarship Fund that APMS manages.  This fund has helped a number of students complete their graduate studies and join government or private entities that conduct the research we feel is important.  To learn more about the Fund, please go to the APMS web site.  We would also encourage any students that have an interest in this field to contact APMS and explore opportunities to learn.

Aquatechnex begins inventory of suppliers sustainatibility practices

One of the ways we can limit our footprint on the environment is to focus our purchases toward suppliers that have a similar commitment to sustainability.  Many of those we work with are taking concrete steps to focus on this mission and we will be increasing our purchases and interaction with those companies that have this commitment.  For example, SePRO Corporation is a major supplier of materials we require to target invasive aquatic weeds.  They have inventoried every aspect of their manufacturing processes and focused on where they can make improvements to protect the environment.  They will be announcing a number of these in the near future and we will report them to you.

Aquatechnex signs up for WA DOE Waste Reduction Service

The Washington Department of Ecology offers a free consulting service called TREE or Technical Resources for Engineering Efficiency.  These free environmental consultations offer businesses help reducing waste, saving time money and energy, following necessary environmental regulations and staying ahead of the competitive curve.  This program can be viewed at www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/hwtr/tree

We are looking forward to hearing what they have to say.

Aquatechnex Blog Cracks the 5,000 Mark

Today was the day our blog readership went over 5,000.  Thanks for your help reaching this milestone.  We will keep trying to get interesting stuff up here that makes it worth your while.

Aquatechnex Retires Last Two Stroke Outboard

We mentioned below that we don’t have a choice but to drive to the lakes we service.  We have taken steps to reduce the fuel necessary to get to these locations as noted below.  This winter another milestone in our efforts to lessen our footprint and consumption was reached.  We were able to retire our last two stroke outboard engine and add the first E-tec Evinrude outboard to our fleet.  Our conversion from two stroke engines to four stroke engines began about four years ago.  Conventional two stroke engines do not burn all the the oil in the fuel mixture and that oil is discharged into the lake through the exhaust of the outboard.  We read one article in that time frame that large lakes with significant boating like Lake Champlain in New York receive as much as a half a million gallons of oil per year in this fashion, kind of a stunning number. 

When we purchased our first four stroke engine to overcome this, the first thing we noticed was the much smaller gas tank that came with it.  At first we had to wonder what was up with that, turns out these engines burn way less gas than we were used to.  Over the past few years, we have upgraded all our boats to that technology and it has allowed us to consume much less fuel.  We have also focused on purchasing enough horsepower to get us around and work effectively without overpowering our vessels and burning more getting from point a to point b. 

The new E-tec Evinrudes (http://www.evinrude.com/en-US/E-Tec/E-TEC.Advantage/Cleaner.Quieter.htm) are even more exciting from this perspective.  These engines are 30%  more efficient than even the best four stroke system on the market and emissions are further reduced.  We are looking forward to blending these into the fleet over the next year or so.

Aquatechnex Donates to Milfoil Weevil Research Fund

Eurasian Milfoil is one of the leading invasive aquatic weed problems that face lake managers in the Northern Tier States.  weevilThis weed grows to the surface of lakes and rivers from depths of over 20 feet.  Plants like Eurasian Milfoil are not native to North America and when they are transported here, they often have a competitive advantage because the predators that keep them in check in their home range are not introduced with them.  Most control programs that focus on invasive species look for bi0logical control options to consider as part of their program development.

About 20 years ago, the State of Vermont discovered an aquatic weevil that has having an impact on an Eurasian Milfoil populations in one of their lakes.  They spent a number of years attempting to culture the weevil and gain the understanding necessary to make it an opperational tool in the management of this problem plant.   Aquatechnex president, Terry McNabb, traveled to Vermont in the summers of 1995 and 1996 and spent approximately three weeks traveling the state with the DEQ Program Head reviewing stocking locations and potential progress. 

Unfortunately, they found that augmenting or stocking weevils in the field did not have a significant impact on the Eurasian Milfoil in these lake systems.  Scientists around the United States through the 1990’s and early 2000 came to similar conclusions, this agent controls the plants in the laboratory, but is inconsistant in the field. 

Additional research is necessary to determine if this particular species could have an impact on an operational scale and in Idaho the Tri State Water Quality Council is launching a program to look into the use of this species in this area. 

Aquatechnex has submitted a financial contribution to this program and invite any reader of this to visit http://www.tristatecouncil.org/ to review their press release.  There is a link on that page that would allow you to contribute to this effort as well.   Please give this a look and consider joining us in supporting this effort.