On board the LGA Floating Classroom, Jordan Baugh (left) and David Connors from U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s office learn more about the threat of invasive species on Lake George.  Representatives from local, state and federal government, as well as from local non-profits, met today at the Lake George Association to discuss invasive species eradication and control efforts currently underway on Lake George.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Federal and state officials visited Lake George today to discuss invasive species prevention


Lake George, NY – August 14, 2012 –  Federal and state representatives met with local officials today to observe invasive species eradication and management projects underway. The meeting was arranged by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s office, in cooperation with the Lake George Association and Lake George Park Commission. 

“From the Great Lakes to the Finger Lakes, and from the lakes and streams of the Adirondacks to the Hudson River, and every waterway in between, New York State is blessed with beautiful bodies of water,” Senator Gillibrand said. “These vast natural resources help drive our economy, offer miles of recreation, attract tourists, and provide clean drinking water for millions of families. If we’re going to protect these resources today and for future generations, we need to prevent the spread of invasive species.”

On board the Lake George Association’s Floating Classroom, the officials toured Boon Bay, one of four sites on Lake George infested with Asian clam.  This past spring, over 1,200 benthic barrier mats were placed on the lake bottom at the infested sites to deprive the invasive Asian clam of oxygen and nutrition.  Over $1 million in municipal, state, and private funds have been raised and spent in the effort to manage Asian Clams in Lake George during the past two years.

Officials also observed management efforts for Eurasian water milfoil at sites in the southern basin of Lake George.  The cost just to control Eurasian water milfoil on Lake George, from 1995 through 2011, were close to $3 million, according to records kept by the Lake George Park Commission.

On board the LGA Floating Classroom, state and federal officials tour Boon Bay on Lake George, the site of an infestation of Asian clam.  Left to right: New York Senator Betty Little, Jordan Baugh and David Connors, representing U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s office, and Dave Wick, executive director of the Lake George Park Commission.

“We have apprised Senator Gillibrand’s office for a few months now on our battles against invasives in Lake George,” said Walt Lender, executive director of the Lake George Association.  “We are honored and grateful that the senator has mustered a team of representatives to bring federal attention to this serious issue.  We must have federal help.  We no longer have the local capacity to accomplish what we need to do,” Lender added.

Visiting officials joined leaders from local governments, agencies, and not-for-profit organizations to discuss the options.  New York State Senator Betty Little, who hosted a funding summit on invasive species in 2011, and Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward, who along with Little, championed passage of a state law regulating the sale and transport of invasive species, were also present. Joining them were supervisors and board members from the towns of Hague, Bolton, Lake George, Queensbury, the chair of the Warren County Board of Supervisors, and others.  The Lake George Association hosted the discussion; the Lake George Park Commission, the Fund for Lake George, RPI’s Darrin Fresh Water Institute, Lake George Watershed Coalition, and other local and regional organizations and agencies were also present.

About the LGA
The LGA is a non-profit membership organization of people interested in working together to protect, conserve, and improve the beauty and quality of the Lake George Basin. It is the nation’s oldest lake association. For more information, contact the LGA at (518) 668-3558.

Left to right: Walt Lender, LGA executive director, Betty Little, NYS Senator, Jordan Baugh and David Connors with the office of U.S. Senator Gillibrand, Lake George Park Commission Executive Director Dave Wick, and Fred Dunlap, with NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation were a handful of federal, state and local participants in a summit today on Lake George to review invasive species threats and treatment options.

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