Welcome to Dunhams Bay
See below to learn about the characteristics of your bay and what they mean for your water quality.
Dunhams Bay Profile
Located in the Town of Queensbury in Warren County, the Dunhams Bay watershed flows into the Caldwell sub-basin of Lake George. This sub-basin is named after the former name of the Village of Lake George.
The Critical Environmental Area (CEA), a band of land extending back 500 feet from the shoreline and considered the most influential land to the lake's water quality, makes up 1.5% of the watershed (92 acres).
- Properties: Roughly (12%) of the properties in the watershed are within the CEA (70 of 586).
- Streams: There are nearly 17 miles of DEC regulated AA-Special streams in the watershed. There are almost 64 miles of intermittent streams that only flow during portions of the year (Spring runoff or rain events) or run year-round and are unregulated by DEC at this time.
- Roads: 20 miles of roads: including 11.7 of Town roads, 0.7 of Private roads, 2.9 miles of County roads and 4.6 miles of State roads. There are 0.3 miles of roads within 100 feet of the shoreline and they are at a greater risk for introducing salt and other runoff to the lake.
Impervious Surface Is Impacting Water Quality
Nearly 13% of the land in the CEA is covered by impervious surfaces such as roads, roofs, or driveways. Impervious surfaces covering more than 10% of the CEA will have an impact on water quality. You can improve your water quality by avoiding further impervious surface development, capturing any stormwater runoff between these surfaces and streams or the lake shore, and converting existing surfaces into something that water can sink into, like permeable pavers. Consider planting a shoreline buffer as a protective cushion for the lake.
Septic Systems Feed Algae
Nearly 100% of properties (585) in the Dunhams Bay area are on private septic systems. Improperly treated wastewater from aging, failing or inadequately designed septic systems is impacting Lake George water quality, threatening human health with organic matter, bacterial and viral pathogens, and feeding algae growth with excess nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, that can potentially lead to harmful algal blooms (HABs). If you’re a septic system owner, Lake George needs you to contribute to water quality protection by taking the actions outlined in the link below to ensure your septic system is operating properly.
Areas to Protect From Development and Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
Nearly 79% of the watershed's area is forested. The forested areas cover approximately 5,000 acres and protect Dunhams Bay water quality by providing cover and breaking up rainfall while their roots systems create soil conditions that allow for greater infiltration. The forested and scrub/shrub wetlands of the Dunhams Bay marsh area also provide a critical service to Dunhams Bay's water quality by cleaning water flowing into the lake. They are important areas to protect.
40% of the watershed has steep slopes. Logging, a large tree die off, and development would all likely lead to additional stormwater runoff. Most steep slopes are upland of Dunhams Bay Marsh and above State Route 9L.
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) is slowly spreading around the Lake, threatening the health of our Hemlock forests. Approximately 30% of the tree cover is Conifer (evergreen) trees, some of which are Hemlocks. Hemlock stands within your watershed have the potential to become infested without proper monitoring and management. The closest confirmed infestation is 0.76 miles from your watershed. HWA often spreads via birds and will likely arrive around Dunhams Bay soon.