The Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (PSC AWI) will once again provide free watercraft inspection and decontamination services at 14 locations in Old Forge, Inlet, Eagle Bay, Raquette Lake, and Blue Mountain Lake to help protect lakes from aquatic invasive species.
Each summer AWI employs more than 100 seasonal boat launch stewards to work with the boating public across the Adirondacks to help meet the “Clean, Drain, and Dry” standard required by New York State to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species. The program provides the public with free boat decontamination and inspection services at popular boat launches throughout the Adirondacks, including the most popular along the State Route 28 corridor.
“We are looking forward to another successful year in the Old Forge – Inlet – Blue Mountain lake corridor”, said Dan Kelting, Executive Director of PSC AWI. “Inlet’s Fourth Lake launch has been in the program’s top 10 busiest boat launches for several years, and we expect another busy season.”
Fourth Lake launch stewards perform more than 3,000 watercraft inspections each summer. Lake Placid and Second Pond on the Saranac Lake Chain are #1 and #2 respectively.
“The Fulton Chain of Lakes is a critical area in our aquatic invasive species spread prevention network,” said Eric Paul, Stewardship Director of PSC AWI. “This region sits at the western gateway to the Adirondacks and faces risk of new infestations of several organisms like hydrilla, one of the most aggressive and difficult species to manage. The local stewards help safeguard against these threats and help communities avoid costly and disruptive infestations.”
The boat inspection and decontamination stations are cooperatively funded by New York State’s Environmental Protection Fund, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Lake Champlain Basin Program, numerous lake associations, private foundations, and municipalities.
The public can expect to see AWI’s stewards at local boat launches starting on Memorial Day weekend and throughout the season until Labor Day weekend or Columbus Day weekend. For more information on locations and summer employment, please visit https://www.adkwatershed.org/employment
Photo provided: A steward performing watercraft inspection at Fourth Lake