The report says the Jefferson Project has now deployed more than 500 Smart Sensors in and around the lake to monitor physical, chemical and biological conditions that signal emerging threats and help track the progress of lake protection initiatives.
Monitoring data from the sensors are combined with data from chemistry and food web surveys of the lake and surrounding streams, as well as experiments focusing on the multiple human stressors that impact freshwater ecosystems, such as road salt. This data is used to inform computer models that forecast weather, run-off, lake circulation, and changes in the lake’s food web. The modeling tool is called the Scenario Engine, and is being developed “to anticipate environmental changes decades into the future,” the Report states, and “establishes the ability to implement effective measures long before water quality declines.”
Featured in the Report are overviews of the work The Jefferson Project is doing to understand, and predict road salt pollution, invasive species and the excess nutrients from stormwater runoff and improperly treated wastewater that can lead to harmful algal blooms (HABs).
Lake George is the only one of 12 New York State lakes designated by Gov. Cuomo for priority protection from HABs that has not experienced an outbreak. Representatives from a number of HABs-impacted communities in New York and New Jersey have visited The Jefferson Project over the past year to observe and learn from its work.
The Jefferson Project is a private partnership between IBM Research, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and The FUND for Lake George.
The report can be downloaded at jeffersonproject.rpi.edu/ or ordered in print form by calling The FUND for Lake George at (518) 668-9700.