2020 totals nearly double what’s been removed in previous years
More than 145,000 pounds of invasive Eurasian watermilfoil has been removed from Lake George from June through the middle of September, almost as much as the two previous years combined, thanks to the efficiency of the suction harvesting process and four crews of divers working.
“We know this project is an important one for our 2,000+ members,” said Walt Lender, LGA Executive Director. “It’s why we have regularly pledged $100,000 of our project money each year to a program dedicated to removing the invasive plant.”
While the Lake George Association has pledged $100,000 in 2020, the LGA has actually paid $229,500 through August 6. That total is the upfront costs of the program for a significant part of the season – only possible thanks to financial planning by Walt and the LGA’s Finance Committee during previous years – with the understanding that some of the upfront costs will be reimbursed. So far about $171,000 of our payments this year has been reimbursed from a state grant.
“We are expecting, in the end, for the final costs to the LGA to total $100,000,” Walt said. “As our members know, any money we receive from a grant reimbursement just gets turned around for this project or another that focuses on protecting the Lake’s water quality.”
“We’re not sure that the state grants for the program will be available next year, with all the financial uncertainty,” Walt said. “We’re glad that we were able to dedicate so much up front to the project, and that we had planned to do as much work as we could this year to take care of this issue.”
“Lake George water quality protection, in all its forms, is Job 1 for us,” Walt said.
The Lake George Park Commission has pledged $100,000 for 2020, and the Fund for Lake George has pledged about $60,000.
“We are seeing good results from the program,” said Pat Dowd, Communications Director of the Lake George Association. “Regrowth has been very low to non-existent in many areas we’ve surveyed thanks to the suction harvesting technology and the attentiveness of the dive crews from AE Commercial Diving Services.”
“For the record, the weight of the milfoil removed is more than the weight of nine empty school buses,” Pat said.
Eurasian watermilfoil spreads easily and grows quickly. Because the plant self-fragments, pieces of milfoil from patches break off and re-root nearby, making it difficult to completely eradicate it.
But, we think, we are getting closer.
As an invasive, it has no natural predators, and outcompetes and crowds out the native plants, established patches reduce biodiversity, diminish fish habitat and negatively impact wetland habitats.
Locations where milfoil was removed in 2020 include: Arcady Bay, Basin Bay, Cannon Point, Clark Hollow Bay, Clay Island, Commission Point, Dog Beach, Dunham’s Bay, East Brook Delta, Eichlerville Bay, Fan Point, Finkle Brook Delta, Green Island, Gull Bay, Harris Bay, Huddle Bay, Northwest Bay, Red Rock Bay, Sawmill Bay, Sunset Bay, Tea Island Bay, Turtle Island Channel, and Warner Bay.
For more information, please call (518) 668-3558 or see the wealth of information on our updated website at http://www.LakeGeorgeAssociation.org
The Lake George Association is the oldest and most experienced lake protection organization in the country, whose members support water quality protection, water quality monitoring, education and lake-friendly living programs that benefit the watershed from Lake George Village to Ticonderoga.
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.