The Lake George Association will continue to pay to protect Lake George boat launches in Gull Bay and Hague thanks to a state grant announced late last week.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the Lake George Association has been awarded $78,575 through the state Department of Environmental Conservation to provide funding for aquatic invasive species stewards at the Hague Town Boat Launch and the Gull Bay Public Beach and Boat Launch in Putnam. The grant is funded by the state’s Environmental Protection Fund.
The Lake George Park Commission’s Mandatory Boat Inspection Program does not include inspectors at municipal launches.
“The reason why this grant is so important to Lake George is that the municipal launches in Hague and Putnam are not inspection sites but must be staffed when they are open in order to ensure that boats being launched have inspection seals,” said Kristen Wilde, Education Director for the Lake George Association. “This grant will pay the towns for the boat launch stewards, who will confirm that boats have been inspected before launching and will provide exit inspections of boats leaving the launch.”
“This grant enhances the protection of Lake George” said Walt Lender, Lake George Association’s Executive Director. “The work being paid for by the grant and administered by the Lake George Association will ensure access to the Lake but in a way that is controllable, measurable, and protective.”
“New York State is leading the way in invasive species management to ensure our environment remains sustainable, healthy and strong,” Governor Cuomo said in a news release. “Through joint efforts by our state, community and organizational partners, we are developing new programs and initiatives to combat the threat of invasive species that could damage New York’s waterways, agricultural crops, and invaluable forest lands.”
The $78,575 state grant is separate from the $30,000 that the LGA pays each year to support the Lake George Park Commission’s Mandatory Boat Inspection Program (see the details of the program and launch hours/locations here), which grew out of the LGA’s Lake Steward Program. Our Lake Steward Program started in 2008 to prevent invasives from being introduced and spread in Lake George, to educate boaters on invasive species spread prevention, and to collect data on boat traffic and invasive species discovered.
In addition to the check for the inspection seal, the launch stewards will look for and remove any plants and animals attached to boats and trailers, drain any standing water from the boat, and educate boaters on how to prevent the spread of invasive species to other lakes when they leave the boat launch. The launch stewards will collect data about the vessels when exiting.
As the Lake George Association proved with our Lake Steward Program, boat launch steward programs are an effective method to prevent the overland transport, introduction, and spread of aquatic invasive species, which can hitchhike from one waterway to another on boats, trailers, and other recreational equipment.
The grant is the second given to the Lake George Association for this purpose – the LGA has already been paying for the stewards for two seasons.
The Lake George Association is the oldest and most experienced lake protection organization in the country, whose members support water quality protection, scientific 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 stays in the Lake George watershed, and is used to support and fund projects and programs that protect Lake George water quality now and in the future.