The Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) has been awarded a five-year, $9.3 million contract by New York State to implement the Adirondack Park Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program.
The contract calls for the AWI to implement a region-wide watercraft inspection and decontamination program to stop the introduction, spread, and transport of aquatic invasive species such as Eurasian watermilfoil, zebra mussels, and spiny waterflea. Through it, 58 stewards will be funded at dozens of locations across the park. Public-facing efforts are seen as key as recreational watercraft susceptible to spreading invasive species move about the park in the coming months.
The AWI’s Stewardship Program employs workers at public launch sites to inspect boats, as well as provide education and monitoring. Funding this effort is also made possible by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the Lake Champlain Basin Program, and several Adirondack town and lake associations. The contract, provided by New York State’s Environmental Protection Fund, is administered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
For more information about the program and to locate this summer’s inspection and decontamination stations, click here.
Photo of an Adirondack Watershed Institute steward conducting a watercraft inspection provided.