By Walt Lender
Executive Director, Lake George Association
All the work the Lake George Association has done over the years to protect water quality continues to be reflected in scientific studies – and the fact that the state continues to rate Lake George as Class AA Special.
Our most recent results from our water quality monitoring and sampling program shows that the Lake’s water continues to be clear. We know that we must continue our water quality protection projects and programs in order for Lake George to stay protected.
One important aspect of our work is to stop polluted stormwater from getting into Lake George.
Why is it important? Because we know that polluted stormwater continues to be by far the greatest human contributor to water quality decline of our Lake.
Polluted stormwater carries with it substances that threaten a modern Lake:
- nitrogen and phosphorus from lawns and plant debris;
- sediment from driveways, roads and erosion;
- chemicals from construction materials, fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides;
- salt, oil and grease from roads and driveways;
- bacteria from animal waste and faulty septic systems; and
- litter and debris.
It is pollution in its most elemental form – bringing unwanted, harmful and potentially dangerous material into our clean water.
It’s why the Lake George Association focuses on this enormous problem, and has been solving it piece by piece over the decades. Every protection project builds on another. The cumulative effect of all of our work is clear in the latest study from our friends at the Darrin Fresh Water Institute in Bolton – Lake George is in very good shape.
But as always, there are threats on the horizon.
As our community better understands water conditions through the LGA’s water quality testing program with the state and through other scientific studies, we realize that we need better tools to protect the water.
Those tools are (hopefully) coming this spring: The Lake George Park Commission’s proposed Stormwater Management Regulations for the Lake will help to slow – or even reverse – the slight declines in water quality we are seeing.
They will support conditions that reduce the mounting risk of Harmful Algal Blooms.
Created in 1961, the Lake George Park Commission is the state agency that oversees protection in the Lake George watershed. The LGA supported its formation and continues to support its work both financially and collegially.
Once the proposed regulations are approved in Albany, they will come back to the region where we can discuss the importance of this tool to solve other pieces of the stormwater pollution problem.
We encourage that discussion, and encourage everyone to go into this process with their eyes open and their minds open.
What is most important is what is best for Lake George, and having the best tools to protect Lake George water quality.
The Lake George Association has been the leader in protecting Lake George from pollution for 135 years – we started in 1885 when the president was Grover Cleveland (his first term).
We support the proposed regulations as our next opportunity to protect the Lake’s water quality. We hope you will, too.
And on a personal note, from the Lender family, I want to wish you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year 2020!
Walt Lender is the Executive Director of the Lake George Association, whose 2,000+ members support water quality protection, water quality monitoring, education and lake friendly living programs that benefit the watershed from Lake George Village to Ticonderoga.