Show Your Support for the Lake That Drives Our Region’s Economy

The LGA is asking our business community to join together in support of the Lake that is so fundamental to the economic health of our region. By adding your business’ name to the Compact below, you’ll help demonstrate to our state and federal officials and our entire region that our business community is committed to working collaboratively on Lake protection, and to supporting and advocating for policies and programs that address the Lake’s greatest water quality threats, including Harmful Algal Blooms and the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid. To add your name to our list of Compact supporters, please complete the form at the bottom of this page. Email us if you have any questions.

Business Compact on the Economic Imperative of Protecting Lake George

New York State’s confirmation of two harmful algal blooms (HABs) on Lake George over the past 10 months, coupled with the arrival of the highly destructive hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) invasive species, provide ominous warnings for everyone who cares about and benefits from the Lake.

While the HABs have been small and short-lived, they prove that our Lake is not immune from blooms nor the potential for the persistent, large-scale outbreaks that regularly wreak havoc on lakes and lake-based economies across the country and around the world.

Similarly, the hemlock woolly adelgid has infested or killed millions of hemlock trees across the eastern U.S. Recent infestations at Lake George pose a tremendous threat. In many portions of the Lake’s watershed, hemlocks comprise a significant portion (80%+ basal area) of the forested landscape, Hemlocks are vital for cleansing and cooling our freshwater resources and maintaining healthy wildlife habitats.

As business owners and operators who depend on a clear, clean Lake George to sustain our businesses, support our employees, and safeguard our property values, this unprecedented compact expresses our concerns and our united commitment to protecting the Lake that means so much to all of us.

The facts are clear:

  • HABs and HWA pose a serious and growing threat to our drinking water, human health, our natural environment, recreational opportunities, and our Lake-based economy.
  • New York State is at the epicenter of the national HABs crisis, with the number of water bodies experiencing blooms increasing ten-fold (to nearly 500) over the last decade, costing the state an estimated $6 billion in mitigation expense and lost value to our economy.
  • The first widespread infestation of HWA in the forests of Lake George was discovered in the summer of 2020. Recent studies from some of the more than 40 other HWA-infested counties indicate the loss of property values alone from the death of hemlock trees would be in the tens of millions of dollars, without accounting for economic impacts associated with loss of tourism and recreation.
  • Research at neighboring Lake Champlain found that a three-foot loss in water clarity results in a $12.6 million decrease in summer tourism expenditures, the loss of hundreds of regional jobs, and a 37% depreciation in seasonal home values.
  • Studies show that Lake George has experienced a steady increase in the levels of chlorophyll-a since 1980. Chlorophyll-a is a key indicator of increased algae growth in the Lake, and is connected to high levels of nutrients, primarily phosphorus.
  • The causes of HABs can vary from lake to lake, but it is widely understood that nutrient pollution, especially phosphorus, is a major contributor. Studies show that Lake George has experienced a 70% increase in concentrations of orthophosphorus, the form of phosphorus that feeds the growth of algae and other plants, since 1980.
  • The overall water quality of Lake George has declined throughout the lake, as documented in a 37-year, lake-wide data collection by RPI’s Darrin Fresh Water Institute and detailed in a 30-year study published in 2014, which found the southern portions of the lake transitioning from oligotrophic (exceptionally clear water quality) to mesotrophic (reduced levels of water quality and clarity).

In response to these continuing changes in water quality and the escalating risk of harmful algal blooms and hemlock wooly adelgid, we, the undersigned businesses, are joining together in an unprecedented show of support for Lake George. Working together, we pledge to:

  1. Advocate for implementation by New York State of the priority actions called for in the state’s HABs Initiative Action Plan for Lake George, the full implementation of which is designed to reduce nutrient pollution, a primary risk factor of HABs.
  2. Support scientific monitoring of conditions in Lake George and work with the researchers, advocates, municipal officials, and others who recognize the urgency of actions on both HABs and HWA to protect water quality.
  3. Support science-guided programs, policies, and actions to reduce the risk of future HAB occurrences in our Lake and to contain the spread of HWA in our forests.
  4. Evaluate our own businesses’ impacts on the Lake, particularly in regard to septic systems and stormwater management, with the aim of making improvements that benefit our businesses and the Lake we rely on.

Lake George is unique in the world, because of its clear, clean waters and scenic forested splendor that have drawn millions of visitors for generations. As highlighted in a 2020 study prepared by The Lake Champlain Lake George Regional Planning Board, Lake George hosts 3 million visitors annually, generates $2 billion in economic activity, supports over 500 tourism businesses, and is responsible for generating nearly $630 million in direct tourism spending.

We are committed to working together to help secure the region’s economic engine, ensuring that the natural character of Lake George is protected for the good of our communities, our businesses, our employees, and all who revel in the wonder of the Lake, now and for future generations to come.

Participating Businesses

* Members of the LGA Council of Business Advisors

Join the rest of the business community by signing on:

As you wish it to appear in publicity about the Compact.
We protect Lake George

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All the money raised by the Lake George Association goes to projects and programs that benefit the Lake and the watershed, protecting Lake George water quality now and in the future.
Lake George Association

Lake George Association