The Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) recently announced that the New York State Department of Health awarded it certification through the Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP).
The AWI Environmental Research Lab is a state-of-the-art laboratory specifically designed for the analysis of surface and ground water in the Adirondack region. The laboratory saw major upgrades in 2010 when Paul Smith’s College built the Countess Alicia Spaulding-Paolozzi Environmental Science and Education Center.
A group of scientists and representatives of government agencies met this summer in Saratoga Springs with an enormous mission: outline plans for a survey of hundreds of Adirondack Lakes.
The emerging plan hopes to focus on the effects of climate change on Adirondack lakes and would build on the last major survey of Adirondack lakes in the 1980s, which focused on lake acidification and served as a scientific basis for the 1990 federal Clean Air Act amendments. » Continue Reading.
The Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) recently announced that it has been awarded a grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program to expand the Adirondack Lake Assessment Program (ALAP) and further safeguard waterbodies across the Adirondack region.
Last week, I visited the Adirondack Watershed Institute at Paul Smith’s College. After talking with the institute’s staff about a litany of water-related issues the organization works on, I walked around the lakefront campus with AWI’s leaders.
The college, which unsurprisingly is well-regarded for its environmental science, forestry and hotel management programs, has less than 1,000 students, what must be some of the best views of any campus in the country and 14,000 acres of Adirondack land.
Adirondack Water Week kicks off on Sunday, August 22 and runs through Saturday, August 28 this year. The annual event is a collaborative celebration of the region’s freshwater resources and precious watersheds. Co-hosted by the Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute, Northwood School, and the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, Water Week was created to raise awareness of value of our waterways.
“We rely on our Adirondack waterways for drinking, recreation, tourism, and basic ecosystem functions”, said Dan Kelting the executive director of the Adirondack Watershed Institute. “This annual celebration is a chance for the public to reflect on the importance of freshwater, get out and enjoy our waterways, and perhaps experience something new.”
This year’s Water Week includes a self-guided Watershed Walk around Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, a river clean-up and invasives pull in the Boquet River watershed, guided paddling tours, science talks, watershed educational programs, and much more.
“Wool and Water” is a unique project that kicks off during Water Week. It blends fiber arts with scientific data. Led by AWI’s director of science and fiber artist, Michale Glennon, the project visualizes changing water conditions through knitting and crocheting. Michale’s work will be displayed at the Paul Smith’s College Visitor’s Interpretive Center starting Monday, August 23.
In addition to scheduled programs, organizers encourage the public to simply get out and enjoy their waterways during Water Week and if so inclined to tag their social media posts with #adkwaterweek.
“Go for a paddle, sit by a lake, or take a walk in your watershed”, said Zoë Smith, AWI’s deputy director. “It’s a time to appreciate the value that water brings to our everyday lives.”
Stewards are ready for another busy Adirondack boating season
Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) is offering free boat inspections and decontaminations starting on Memorial Day weekend at more than 60 boat launches and road-side locations across the Adirondack region to help the public stop the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS).
The second of three public meetings for the Upper Saranac watershed management planning effort is scheduled for Thursday, May 6 from 7pm-8:30pm.
The meeting is hosted by the Upper Saranac Foundation (USF) and the Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI). The groups will present preliminary goals for the watershed plan and will facilitate discussions about the recommendations and the future of the watershed. The groups administered a public survey in the summer of 2020 and held the first public meeting in February of 2021.
Photo: Boat stewards assist the public with checking their watercraft for aquatic invasive species. They also provide education and at some locations, free boat washes. (Photo by Adirondack Watershed Institute, Paul Smith’s College)
The boating season may have unofficially ended Labor Day weekend, but New York State’s Watercraft Inspection Steward program continues at select locations. To date, this year’s boat stewards have inspected more than 330,000 boats, talked with hundreds of thousands of water recreationists, and intercepted more than 18,000 aquatic plant and animal hitchhikers (including one very important finding of the infamous invasive plant hydrilla!).
This past Tuesday, the Explorer hosted our first public event of the COVID era — a Zoom panel discussion with Dan Kelting, the head of the Adirondack Watershed Institute of Paul Smith’s College.
We focused on something Kelting has been studying for a decade and I’ve been reporting on all year: road salt and what it does to drinking water supplies in the Adirondacks.
Kelting dived into the issue years ago, first to roundup what was known about road salt pollution elsewhere and then to find out what it was doing to the Adirondacks. In sum, too much salt running off roads ends up in waterways. There, it harms humans by messing with heart and kidney function, destroys plumbing and upends ecosystems.
Join Explorer reporter Ry Rivard and Dan Kelting, head of the Adirondack Watershed Institute of Paul Smith’s College, to talk about one of the major sources of water pollution in our region: the road salt showing up in water supplies across the Adirondacks.
Ry Rivard has been reporting on this issue for the Explorer.
Dan Kelting has been studying road salt for years and tested hundreds of private wells.
The event will take place online starting at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 25.
The conversation between Ry and Dan will last about 30 minutes, followed by your questions. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
Offered through the Paul Smith’s College Training Institute, and timed to launch during the 2020 Invasive Species Awareness Week, June 7-13, the program focuses on how to prevent the spread of harmful aquatic organisms in our lakes and rivers. Programs will be open and ongoing throughout the summer.
Boat counters on the Northway for the Memorial Day weekend say that 89% of the trailered motorboats traveling north into the Adirondacks on Interstate 87 passed the inspection/decontamination station without stopping, according to the Adirondack Council.
It is illegal to transport invasive plants, fish or wildlife from one water body to another in New York. The surest way to avoid contaminating one lake, pond or river with species from another is to have the boat inspected and cleaned by trained personnel. New York has installed a network of inspection stations in and around the Adirondack Park.
Boat inspections and decontaminations are free, but the state hasn’t required boaters to stop at the inspection stations. The Adirondack Council and others want better protection.
Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) recently presented new research detailing the threat of aquatic invasive species in Adirondack lakes at the Northeast Aquatic Plant Management Society meeting in Lake Placid.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Invasive Species Management Grant Program funded AWI to undertake two studies. » Continue Reading.
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