The University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station is asking businesses in the area to help fund its work.
Proceeds from the drive that starts Monday will benefit research and monitoring on Flathead, Whitefish, and Swan lakes, and the surrounding watersheds.
Bio station assistant director Tom Bansak says since the 1970s, the station has collected one of the best lake data sets on the planet.
"We have this wonderful long-term record showing that Flathead is one of the cleanest, clearest large lakes in the world, and that its water quality is not getting worse."
Bansack says funds from the business drive will help continue that research, and also combat aquatic invasive species, like quagga and zebra mussels.
"Invasive mussels have arrived in Montana, and the Columbia River basin is the last major river system in the nation, in the lower 48, that doesn’t have these mussels," Bansack says.
Those species can cause irreversible damage to watersheds, and cost millions of dollars in mitigation and lost revenue.
Bansack says the health of the lake also benefits property values and the overall economy of
the area, and he hopes businesses throughout the region will promote and contribute to the drive in any capacity they can.
The station aims to raise $100,000. The drive will end on October 15.
Businesses can contribute here.