The Lake George Association’s mission is to protect Lake George water — and that includes the many streams, brooks and other waterways in the Lake George watershed.
In fact, in the last five years alone, Lake George Association staff has completed more than 20 stream restoration projects in the watershed, with many more in the planning stages.
In order to understand the health of Lake George, it’s important for us to review the conditions of the streams regularly. That’s where the WAVE stream sampling program and our citizen scientists come in.
WAVE (Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators) is a program of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation that the LGA manages locally to monitor streams and tributaries.
The WAVE program relies on volunteers to pick a stream sampling location — with assistance and guidance from the Lake George Association — and collect macroinvertebrates (organisms without backbones that are able to be seen without the aid of a microscope) from that site.
The types and numbers of macroinvertebrates are indicators of stream health.
(Volunteers can get assistance from the LGA staff to help them choose a site, and make sure there isn’t any overlapping with streams, or sampling sites. Most of the time, it is the volunteer who picks the final location, since they are most familiar with that area.)
Volunteers also conduct a site assessment (weather conditions, water clarity, and conditions surrounding the water) so that the LGA staff and DEC can better understand the conditions of the portion of the stream they are sampling. You can volunteer for the WAVE Program here.
The data collected from our volunteers in the WAVE program is used to create a record of conditions over time which helps us see potential threats to streams and to the Lake before the potential threats emerge as true problems.
You can see the data from previous years here:
Funding for the 2016 WAVE program equipment and Lake George coordination provided by International Paper Foundation and the Helen V. Froehlich Foundation.