This week the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the Friends of Lake Claire launched a 2 year effort to improve the health of streams and forests that feed Lake Claire near the Magothy River in Anne Arundel County.Lake Claire is a tidal embayment contained by a barrier beach on the Magothy River. It is fed by four streams that drain the suburban development of Cape St. Claire in Anne Arundel County, MD  All four Tributaries to the Lake are plagued by invasive vines that have slowly strangled the old trees that make up their riparian areas and are preventing any growth of new trees, shrubs or grasses that should be flourishing naturally in these areas. This is an ecosystem out of balance and unable to serve as buffers for the runoff of these urban/suburban streams.[one_half ] [one_half ] The water quality of Lake Claire itself has steadily declined over the years due to the declining health of these buffers and their inability to help filter nutrient and sediment pollution. The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the Friends of Lake Claire, a local volunteer community group led by Jennifer Vaccaro and supported by the Cape St. Claire Homeowners Association, have teamed up to help improve these streams and forests over the next two years.  The first step in that process began this week as a herd of goats where fenced in to begin removing (eating) the invasive species.  Brian Knox of Sustainable Resource Management and Eco-Goats brought his herd of goats in on October 8th and will leave them there for 7-10 days while they eat vines and other invasive plants. Following the goat treatment, herbicides will be used to kill the roots of the plants.   In the Spring and Fall of 2014, these areas will be replanted with native trees, shrubs, ferns and sedges. and monitored for return of invasive plants. The project is supported by funding through the MD Governor’s stream buffer challenge.Volunteers from the community and the local elementary, middle and high schools will help plant the trees and will use these areas as living classrooms as part of their environmental curriculum in 2014.[one_half ] [one_half ]