Sunday, May 12, 2024

State grant supports Follensby Clear Pond invasive species management 

a woman in a kayak on a pond

A grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) will support the Upper Saranac Foundation’s (USF) efforts to remove aquatic invasive species (AIS) from Follensby Clear Pond. A total of $3 million was awarded to municipalities and nonprofit organizations this year to combat aquatic and terrestrial invasive species statewide through the NYSDEC’s Invasive Species Grant program. The nearly $47,000 awarded to the USF will support two years of AIS prevention and mitigation at Follensby Clear Pond.

“The USF and its partners have made tremendous progress over the last two decades to restore the Upper Saranac watershed to a more pristine state,” said USF Lake Manager Guy Middleton. “Upper Saranac Lake itself is now nearly free from Eurasian milfoil and should remain that way thanks to ongoing monitoring and management. In recent years, we’ve turned our focus to neighboring water bodies to prevent the downstream spread of invasives, including Follensby Clear.”

The Follensby Clear work aligns with the USF’s 2022 Watershed Management Plan, combining AIS prevention, surveying, control and education. Over the last two years, USF divers have utilized hand harvesting control methods to remove Eurasian watermilfoil from Follensby Clear Pond, helping to prevent the spread of AIS downstream into Upper Saranac Lake and to nearby non-infested water bodies including Polliwog, Horseshoe and Green ponds. The USF’s goal is to eventually eradicate milfoil from Follensby Clear.


This additional management complements work that began in 2020, funded through a grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program.

“DEC is pleased to offer this comprehensive grant program to address the negative impacts of invasive species,” NYSDEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a press release announcing the grants. “There is no single action that can address the threats invasive pests pose to New York’s environment. Simultaneous investments in researching control methods, actively managing invasive populations, addressing pathways for spread and educating the public about invasive species are essential for mitigation efforts.”

To learn more about the USF’s AIS prevention and management work, visit

sign posted by a pond

About the Upper Saranac Foundation:

The Upper Saranac Foundation is a nonprofit, science-guided organization seeking to preserve, enhance and protect the natural beauty, environmental quality and recreational enjoyment of the Upper Saranac Lake watershed through selective support of projects related to overall water quality. The Foundation is funded through tax-deductible donations. Activities include aquatic invasive species prevention and management, lake dam maintenance, monitoring water quality and promoting environmental awareness. For more information, email Guy Middleton at or visit

Photo at top: A grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Invasive Species Grant program is supporting the Upper Saranac Foundation as it works to remove and manage aquatic invasive species from Follensby Clear Pond. (All photos provided by the Upper Saranac Foundation.)

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

One Response

  1. ChuckM says:

    As someone who’s harbored a 60+ year love affair with Follensby Clear Pond (FCP), I’m appreciative of how this jewel has aged, and been maintained.

    But I note that nowhere are Fish Creek and Rollins Ponds mentioned, which any water flowing from FCP must pass through before it gets to Upper Saranac. These “ponds” at some point boasted the largest campsite in NYS, and are obviously very busy with boating.

    Clearly there’s a bounty of Milfoil to be harvested in FCP which flows to the other lakes, but it’s a bit like blaming NYC’s Central Park for the traffic congestion in the rest of Manhattan.

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