New York’s Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) is Monday, June 6 through Sunday, June 12, with several community events planned in Saranac Lake.
ISAW is a statewide effort to promote public understanding of invasive species and increase knowledge on the impacts they have on our waterbodies and woodlands. Local events will take place on June 6 and 8 and are co-sponsored by the Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) and The Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP).
“Our Adirondack waterways, forests, and farmlands are important for recreation, economic sustainability, and basic ecosystem functions,” said AWI Deputy Director Zoë Smith. “The annual Invasive Species Awareness Week is a chance for people learn about protecting our beloved lakes, rivers and forests from invasive species that threaten our environment and cause irreparable harm.”
“Invasive species spread prevention, monitoring and detection requires a regional effort,” said APIPP Program Director Tammara Van Ryn. “Each year, Invasive Species Awareness Week provides an opportunity for people across New York State to learn about and how they can contribute to this effort.”
To promote ISAW, AWI and APIPP are working with two local businesses, Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters and the Hotel Saranac, as well as the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation and Ausable River Association.
“We are really excited that two of our local businesses are fully engaged with ISAW this year,” said Tom Collins, education and outreach program specialist with AWI. “We have a lot of fun things planned, including hands-on “Water Wednesday” events, fireside s’mores and a movie night.”
The ISAW kickoff event is 6 p.m. Monday, June 6, at Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters’ new location at 8 Church Street in Saranac Lake. There will be interactive activities for families and a demonstration of “clean-drain-dry” boat washing techniques. The store will be open and campfire-side s’mores will be available.
“Water Wednesday,” June 8, begins with an “Invasive Species for Lake Lovers” webinar hosted by APIPP Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator Brian Greene from 1-2 p.m. Then, from 2-5 p.m., representatives of APIPP, AWI and the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation will be at the Lake Flower state boat launch for a fun, hands-on afternoon of games, invasive plant identification, and information on how to prevent the spread of invasive species. Parking for the Lake Flower event will be across the street, in the former Nonna Fina restaurant parking lot.
Also on Wednesday, beginning at 6:30 p.m., AWI will host a showing of the 50-minute film, “Uninvited: The Spread of Invasive Species” at the Hotel Saranac. Experts will be on hand to answer questions and the hotel bar and veranda will be open.
“If you spend time on the water in the summer, we encourage you to learn about how invasive species can impact your favorite lake and steps you can take to prevent the spread of these harmful organisms,” said Brian Greene, APIPP’s aquatic invasive species coordinator. “The Adirondacks are a 6-million-acre treasure and protecting it from pressures like invasive species requires public participation.”
The mission of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program is to protect the Adirondack region from the negative impacts of invasive species. Learn more at adkinvasives.com
The mission of the Adirondack Watershed Institute is to protect clean water, conserve habitat and support the health and well-being of people in the Adirondacks through scientific inquiry, stewardship, and real-world experiences. Learn more at adkwatershed.org
Photo at top: PSC Watershed Steward Andrew at the Lake Flower boat launch in Saranac Lake, NY, July 2012. Photo by Nancie Battaglia.