The Tul plant grows naturally in the water near the shores of Lake Atilán, where it provides a protective barrier against erosion and filters out contaminants, as well as habitat for waterfowl, fish, crustaceans, and migratory birds. Tul in the lake decreased significantly due to a rapid change in water levels a few years ago.
We are spearheading initiatives with local organizations and volunteers to reforest Tul. It is very good at absorbing nutrients that are contaminating the lake, plus each plant has billions of beneficial microbes living on it, which consume even more nutrients and also filter the water. The Tul plantings also provide habitat for wildlife, and material for handicrafts to help the local economy.
Tul is a native plant that grows along the shores of Lake Atitlán. It grows rapidly and in the process absorbs nitrogen, phosphorus, and other nutrients from the water. It becomes covered with a biofilm of bacteria that converts even more nutrients and filters the water as it passes by. Tul is one of the most important plants in the Lake for filtering pathogens and absorbing excessive nutrients and preserving a healthy ecosystem.
Several years ago, Lake Atitlán experienced an excessive loss of Tul forests due to a significant rise in water levels caused by hurricanes. That was a double “punch to the gut” for Lake Atitlán. Not only did excessive amounts of nutrients wash into the Lake, triggering a cycle of recurring algae blooms, but also the Lake’s natural defenses against contamination were severely damaged by the loss of Tul Forests and their natural filtrating actions.
Efforts have been underway ever since to reforest the Tul around the Lake and restore the natural filtration systems. Due to the impending crisis that Lake Atitlán is facing, it is vital that as much Tul as possible be restored to help to mitigate the effects of the constantly increasing pollution.
Tul Reforestation Project
WHO: Lake Atitlan Environmental Interests Group
WHAT: Tul Reforesting Project
WHEN: the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of Every month (Future dates to be announced on FB page)
WHERE: locations are announced on our FB page SaveLakeAtitlan and thru Sune Sunrider and