Recognizing that education and outreach are important parts of the job to stem the spread of invasive species, the Lake George Association applied for and has been granted $5,797 by the Lake Champlain Basin Program to hire a summer staff member to expand community and individual awareness of the dangers posed by invasives.
“Considering the continued number of boaters who need to have their vessels decontaminated when they arrive at Lake George each year, the need for more education and outreach on the dangers of invasive species on Lake George is critical,” said Kristen Wilde, Director of Education for the Lake George Association. “Without the support of the Lake Champlain Basin Program, it would be difficult to perform this important task.”
The grant will pay for a summer staff member to work with LGA staff at community events and cartop launches (for kayaks and canoes) to:
- Deliver educational messages on preventing the spread of invasive species;
- Interact with visitors and residents and provide details on aquatic invasive species;
- Deliver printed materials to visitors and residents on protecting the Lake’s water from harm; and
- Intercept invasive species on hand-launched vessels.
As documented in the Lake George Park Commission’s most recent report, “2019 Lake George Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program, Final Report,” sixteen percent of the boats arriving at Lake George last year required decontamination to ensure the boats weren’t harboring hidden invasive species.
“Lake George is fortunate to have a responsible, proactive state agency in the Lake George Park Commission enforcing laws to protect our water quality,” said Walt Lender, Executive Director of the Lake George Association. “But boats with invasives are still coming to Lake George. That is a concern, and it is why this grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program is so important to the Lake and to the LGA.”
“The grant will help us to continue our message of spread prevention, supporting all of the work we and others have done over the years,” he said. “The more vigilant the public, and the better they understand the dangers, the better off the Lake’s water quality will be.”
As the “Queen of American Lakes,” Lake George is an important tourism destination and the major economic driver for the region. Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to the region each year and use the Lake for recreation, for swimming, and as a relaxing place to vacation.
One goal of the work is to ensure that an educated public – residents and visitors – understands that the balance of the Lake’s ecosystem and its natural beauty could be severely disrupted with the introduction of invasive species.
Everyone has a part in protecting the Lake’s balance, and the LGA’s Invasive Species Outreach staff continues to work to ensure everyone understands that part.
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.