For the first time in a decade, no new Adirondack lakes were reported to be infested by aquatic invasive species (AIS) by the Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP).
Nearly 75% of Adirondack lakes surveyed by APIPP for aquatic invasives were found to be invasive-free. 12 species were found to be present in interior lakes.
Since 2002, APIPP has deployed hundreds of volunteers to track the distribution of aquatic invasives in the region. With funding through New York’s Environmental Protection Fund, APIPP has more recently deployed professional rapid response teams to bolster lake surveillance and monitoring efforts. APIPP has produced a new map to showcase the results of surveys to date and the hopeful story for Adirondack lakes.
The Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) of Paul Smith’s College deploys hundreds of paid boat launch stewards and staffs dozens of free boat wash stations under the Adirondack AIS Prevention Program, making it easy for boaters to practice Clean, Drain, & Dry – the necessary steps to prevent the spread of AIS. In 2017, the program’s boat stewards inspected 97,412 watercraft and intercepted 3,849 AIS.
In 2015 an agreement was made among 53 New York State organizations to prevent the introduction and spread of AIS in the Adirondacks.
AIS are aquatic organisms, introduced to lakes and rivers outside their native range, that proliferate quickly and cause significant harm to the local environment and economy. AIS are often unintentionally moved from one lake to another on boats and their trailers. Some local examples of AIS include Eurasian watermilfoil, zebra mussels and spiny waterflea.
The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program is a partnership program of the Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter. To learn more about APIPP, visit www.adkinvasives.com
Map: Adirondack Lakes Surveyed for AIS, provided by the Nature Conservancy.