Alice native on a mission to clean up Lake Findley

Robin Bradshaw
Alice native and local business owner, Daniel Benavides is actively pursuing a clean up mission for Lake Findley. Benavides and his friend were picking up trash and racking the seaweed this week, in an attempt to start the project however small in comparsion to the job ahead.

Alice native and local business owner, Daniel Benavides is actively pursuing a clean up mission for Lake Findley.

“(The lake) was a very different lake just two years ago,” Benavides said.

The project’s objective is to clean up the lakes excessive overgrowth of stargrass and bring the lake back to the days of kayaking, fishing and exploring the back canals, all the things he remembers doing with his dad, as a kid.

Benvides, started some of the research on his own and states the overgrown algae, is called water stargrass. One theory is the algae like swamp grass came in from stream from Lake Mathis, a much deeper lake and when it reached Lake Findley the shallow waters and plentiful sun light created an breading ground for it to thrive and take over. The grass and algae is excessively over grown, super thick, stagnant and more swamp like, than lake like, at the moment.

“This is still a new endeavor and in the very beginning stages, but my goal is to clean the lake’s seaweed problem first, clean the excessive trash and change the environment back to the capacity for fishing and kayaking. Down the road the goals are to add recreational educational classes like fishing and kayaking for local kids,” Benavides said.

“Councilman Burke has been a great help for me, through his resources and contacts from Texas A&M University, Texas Parks and Wildlife and local city and water department officials,” said Benavides. “My fear is doing this alone, I need community help and I welcome creativity and ideas to get this project done. I think many Alice residents would support my mission. I just need to get the word out.”

“This is municipal government at its best, to exchange ideas and explore the feasibility of a citizen initiated through service,” said Ron Burke, Alice City Councilman and long time educator. “Daniel is a former student of mine, so I thought it would be good for him to learn more about the water production and treatment process and the role Lake Findley plays in that process. It will also give him an opportunity to offer his concerns and ideas to help the city with lake conservation later this month, and meet with the City Manager to further discuss his suggestions and potential possibilities.”

Benvides has created a video on the issues the lake is facing and bringing awareness to his mission as the voice for solutions to create change. Anyone interested in viewing the video and/or helping the project is encouraged to reach out to him on his personal Facebook page.

The overgrown swamp like stargrass at Lake Findley.