For its 134th Annual Meeting, the Lake George Association brought in experts from around New York State to discuss with members and guests the results of a yearlong water sampling research project for “Contaminants of Emerging Concern.” LGA staff were trained in spring 2018 in order to participate in this research project.
The research project integrates citizen science and research into the search for contaminants of emerging concern, and allowed the scientists to amass needed data on the occurrence of these contaminants in New York lakes.
The project offers a first public look in Lake George for such substances.
The study, funded by the National Science Foundation, was performed by staff from the Upstate Freshwater Institute and Syracuse University in conjunction with the New York State Federation of Lake Associations.
As reference, Contaminants of Emerging Concern are man-made organic chemicals that may have an impact on organic life in the Lake.
The research study revealed for the first time — because new technology allows for detection with increasing frequency at low levels — what is in the water right now: caffeine, atrazine and DEET, among other chemicals.
The study confirms what the Lake George Association staff and board had long suspected: human influences on water quality of Lake George continue — and not in a good way for water quality.
The good news is, we can fix it. The bad news is, it’s not going to be easy.
But together, as the Lake George Association, we will do the right thing.
What does the future hold? It depends on our actions today — and it depends on decisions you make in the future.
The first presentation was given by Teng Zeng, Principal Project Investigator and assistant professor at Syracuse University, and MaryGail Perkins of the Upstate Freshwater Institute, where the Lake George water samples were examined.
The second part of the featured presentation included a discussion about the Citizen Statewide Lake Assessment Project.
The focus of the statewide project is to involve citizen scientists in projects to monitor Lakes all around the state. Lake George has been a participatn in the program since 2004.
The citizen scientists are deeply involved in lake monitoring, and deepen their understanding about the conditions of their own Lake.
As part of the program, they collect collect chemical, physical and biological data on the Lake’s conditions, identify baseline water quality and changes in lake health, and educate and engage public about lake preservation, management and restoration.
The trained volunteers are using approved methods (standard operating procedures) that are reviewed and certified by state laboratories under quality assurance projects to allow the state to compare Lakes to each other.
Stephanie June, the coordinator of CSLAP and a member of the Lake Monitoring and Assessment Section for New York State DEC, provided the information on the program and gave the presentation.
Also shown at the LGA’s 134th Annual Meeting was the following video, which talked about all of the work the LGA does and how much we still need to do to protect Lake George’s precious water quality.