By Walt Lender
LGA Executive Director
The adage “many hands make light work” is so true for projects to protect Lake George’s water quality.
What makes the “light work” even more powerful and more effective is when the projects marshal a variety of forces who can multiply their investment in clean water, following a comprehensive and collaborative strategy – something the LGA learned very early in our 135-year history.
Stay with me … I know reading about creating strategy and plans isn’t exciting. But this one is critical.
A new watershed action plan is being developed, and the LGA is deeply proud to be part of it.
Why? Two reasons: The plan marshals the considerable forces in the watershed to spotlight and solve problems; and without the new plan there is less of a chance of getting state grants to assist in fixing the problems.
We know there’ve been many plans created over the last century and a third, because we have had a hand in most of them. Some of those guiding plans have been better than others. Some identified problems have been solved, some are still waiting for funding or have been overtaken by other priorities.
But because New York has said that we (collaboratively) have a better chance to get grant funding with an updated action plan, it is time to assess and review the old ones, review priorities and changes, and move forward – together.
Polluted stormwater is the greatest human contributor to water quality decline in Lake George. Polluted stormwater brings salt, oil, grease, nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment, chemicals, bacteria, litter and debris into our Lake. Stopping polluted stormwater – from homes, from roadways, from municipal properties – will protect our water quality.
It’s a job the LGA has been doing for decades, on our own and with many others.
To develop the updated action plan, so our region can have a better chance of qualifying for state grants, the LGA joins our municipal partners in this project: Warren County, Town of Queensbury, Town of Lake George, Town of Bolton, and the Village of Lake George. We are all paying a share of the local costs to develop the strategy and plan that aligns all of our focuses.
We believe the plan is so important that when one organization dropped out of the agreement entirely and abruptly, the LGA picked up that organization’s share of the costs and is paying that as well as our own share.
The action plan, which is being developed by our friends at the Lake Champlain-Lake George Regional Planning Board, will set the stage for our collaborative work for the next decade – water quality protection projects that are too costly for the LGA or any other organization to handle on its own.
Many hands make light work.
It doesn’t mean the LGA will stop seeking grants and doing water quality protection projects on our own, like we’ve done in Gull Bay, Huletts Landing, Hague, Bolton, Diamond Point, Queensbury and Lake George over the last few years.
It doesn’t mean the LGA will stop our broad-based education and outreach programs on water quality conditions, protection and monitoring.
Developing the plan does mean that through collaboration, we can seek larger grants to solve larger problems that affect the Lake as a whole.
That is what a Watershed Action Plan will do. And that’s why we are supporting it financially.
It’s why we work every day to protect Lake George’s water quality.
It’s why we will not stop until the Lake’s water is fully protected.
Walt Lender is the Executive Director of the Lake George Association, whose members support water quality protection, scientific monitoring, education and lake-friendly living programs that benefit the watershed from Lake George Village to Ticonderoga.