Posts Tagged ‘water line’

Thursday, September 29, 2022

HABs plans

DEC scientist and section chief Lauren Townley presents an update on the state's HABs action plan at a Lake George Park Commission meeting in Bolton on Tuesday. Photo by Zachary Matson

Harmful algal blooms were first confirmed on Lake George in October 2020, suspected to have been spurred on by a warm, dry fall.

With Lake George residents and advocates keeping a careful eye on the lake, DEC scientist Lauren Townley (pictured here) updated the Lake George Park Commission on the state’s latest HABs action plan for Lake George, which was updated in August. She shared the update in Bolton at the Lake George Park Commission’s first in-person meeting since prior to the pandemic.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 22, 2022

Turning water into snow

Skiiers at the Mount Van Hoevenberg complex. Explorer file photo by Mike Lynch

The state Olympic Regional Development Authority seeks a permit to withdraw up to 235,000 gallons of water per day from wells and a brook at Mount Van Hoevenberg to primarily bolster snowmaking at the bobsled and cross country skiing venue.

The permit application comes after the state funded a series of major upgrades at the site, including a new visitors lodge, improved trails and modernized snowmaking equipment. A new 3.5 million gallon reservoir can hold the water needed to make snow at the site. The upgrades also aim to attract international competitions to the venue like the World University Games slated for this winter.

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Monday, September 12, 2022

Bond acts and water projects

The 1996 environmental bond act funded the purchase of Whitney Park and Little Tupper Lake. Explorer file photo by Jonathan Esper.

In my almost 11 months at the Explorer, I have done a lot of reporting on the Adirondack Park’s critical water infrastructure. Infrastructure that cleans water for drinking, protects lakes and streams from pollution, mitigates flooding and literally holds up much of the region’s watery landscapes.

A lot of that infrastructure is in dire need of repair or replacement and plays a part in water quality issues like salt pollution, harmful algal blooms and stream connectivity crucial to hedging against the threat of climate change. In March, I found around $500 million of clean water infrastructure needs listed for projects throughout the Adirondacks.

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Thursday, September 8, 2022

Report: No spring turnover on Mirror Lake

mirror lake

Chloride concentrations in Mirror Lake – one of the region’s most developed lakes – declined slightly last year, but the lake again failed to complete a turnover in spring 2021, according to an annual report from the Ausable River Association.

The report, released earlier this month, attributed the chloride decline to a mild winter season, improvements to the Village of Lake Placid’s stormwater runoff system and a new program to reduce private and public road salt use around the lake.

Mirror Lake is one of the lakes most impacted by salt pollution in the Adirondack Park and has been the focus of the Ausable River Association and local officials seeking to limit salt contamination. Still, researchers measured chloride concentration of 52 mg/L, much higher than chloride levels found in lakes unimpacted by salt runoff.

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Monday, August 29, 2022

Stewards on duty

Boat steward Kelly Bonnville prepares the machine used to clean boats with hot water. Photo by Zachary Matson

Adirondack Watershed Institute boat stewards this summer continued their education-focused mission of protecting Adirondack lakes by preventing the spread of invasive plants.

As a new law requiring boaters certify they have cleaned their boat and that it does not contain any visible plant or animal material before launching in the park goes into effect, though, staffing remains a key challenge to both the stewards and the environmental conservation officers tasked with enforcing the new law.

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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Preview of Salt Panel Recommendations

lower st. regis lake

The Adirondack Road Salt Reduction Task Force is nearing completion of its first round of work and a report on its findings and recommendations could be available in the coming month.

During the first Adirondack Lakes Alliance symposium in recent years, Adirondack Watershed Institute Executive Director Dan Kelting previewed the panel’s recommendations. Here’s a look at some of what he said was included in recent drafts:

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Sunday, August 7, 2022

Always-changing nature

duck hole

I just got back from an overnight trip to Duck Hole in the Western High Peaks so will keep this brief. Photographer Mike Lynch and I joined guide Matt Burnett and a group of local teenagers on a trip back to the former dammed pond that drained after the dam blew out during Tropical Storm Irene.

More to come on why we made the trip, but I can attest that the succession of ecosystems is well underway a decade after the water drained. Moss, grasses, shrubs and flowering plants have filled the area, attracting monarch butterflies. Fast-growing birches and the first generation of new spruce and cedar saplings have taken root. Nature is dynamic and, if allowed, fast to recover from humans’ mark.

Next, I’m headed to Paul Smith’s College for the Adirondack Lakes Alliance symposium. I’m looking forward to hearing discussion on a range of important topics, including the contested use of herbicide to combat invasive aquatic plants. I hope to meet some of you there.

Also:

Photo of Duck Hole by Zachary Matson. Editor’s note: This first appeared in Zach’s weekly “Water Line” newsletter. Click here to sign up


Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Lake George update

putnam

Lake George Park commissioners today got an update on a pair of initiatives that could have a major impact on the future of the lake.

A set of draft regulations to create a new septic inspection program around the lake is awaiting state approval before going up for public comments in the coming weeks. The proposed rules would establish a requirement that thousands of homes near the lake and its tributaries submit to a septic pump and inspection every few years.

Commission officials said they expected to be holding public hearings on the septic rules sometime this fall, possibly in October. The park commission will host a public information session on the program early next month.

Allison Gaddy, a senior planner with the Lake Champlain Lake George Regional Planning Board also updated the park commission on a forthcoming Lake George Watershed Plan. The plan will include an assessment of existing local ordinances, codes and planning documents, as well as an overall review of the condition of the lake, surrounding natural areas and development. It covers a range of issues, including septic issues, land acquisition and conservation, invasive species, climate resiliency, road salt impacts and more.

Focused on water quality, the plan will also outline proposed projects around the lake, providing a source of ideas for future grant applications.

Gaddy said a draft could be available to the public as soon as August or in the next couple of months. The public will have a chance to offer comments on the plan.

Also: the commission’s annual boat steward program has seen a slight uptick in boater contacts compared to the same time last year and has intercepted over 100 instances of invasive species, including two quagga mussels, which have not yet established in Lake George.

I will keep an eye out for more details on all of these topics.

OTHER READS:

Photo: The Clark Hollow Bay property in Putnam as seen from Lake George. Provided by Lake George Land Conservancy

Editor’s note: This first appeared in Zach’s weekly “Water Line” newsletter. Click here to sign up.


Thursday, July 14, 2022

Clean boats, clean waters

boat stewards

The state’s new requirement that boaters get certified that they have cleaned their boat before launching in Adirondack waters is in full effect this summer, so how it’s going?

We will be working on an update in the coming weeks and want to hear from anyone who has seen the scene at boat launches this summer: Are people complying with rules or resisting the message of stewards working to limit the spread of invasive species?

While boat stewards from the Adirondack Watershed Institute and other programs around the park are reaching as many boaters as possible, we are hearing some concerns that law enforcement doesn’t have the resources to strictly enforce the law when stewards are not present at launch sites.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 9, 2022

A Lake Placid plan

lake placid

proposed Lake Placid management plan focuses on studying boat traffic, mitigating the potential harm of outdated septic systems and preventing the introduction or expansion of invasive species.

The Adirondack Watershed Institute and the Ausable River Association on Tuesday released a draft management plan for the largest lake in Essex County and one of the most iconic lakes in the Adirondacks. The plan was commissioned by the Shore Owners’ Association of Lake Placid. They are seeking public comments through July 19.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, July 1, 2022

Raising big questions

narrows

A pair of proposed marina expansions are upsetting neighbors and raising the salience of a critical question for state agencies: how many boats are too many boats?

The same development team behind a proposed marina expansion on Lower Saranac Lake, which has been challenged in appellate court by a former Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner, is pushing forward a similar project on Fish Creek Ponds in Santa Clara.

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Sunday, June 19, 2022

Judge blocks Lake George herbicide plan, for now

Garnet Lake in Johnsburg and Thurman last week. Photo by Zachary Matson.

No chemical herbicide will be used in Lake George this summer, but the fate of the Lake George Park Commission’s plan to do so is still up in the air.

A Warren County judge on Monday sided with the Lake George Association and others challenging the park commission’s plan to treat invasive watermilfoil with one of the few EPA-approved aquatic herbicides on the market. The judge granted a preliminary injunction that bars the park commission from using the herbicide until a lawsuit brought by the lake association can be resolved. 

The judge agreed with the association’s lawyer who argued the herbicide plan could be delayed without impacting the current state of the lake, but if the commission was allowed to carry out its plan, any outcome of the lawsuit would be meaningless. Next step in the case: a conference later this month to come up with a briefing schedule.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 9, 2022

This week’s water news

lake champlain

Lake Champlain straddles an international border, a state border and is the focus of scores of government agencies, scientific researchers and nonprofit organizations.

It’s a big lake with a lot happening, but there’s a government plan for that. 

The Lake Champlain Basin Program – a federal program established to guide and fund research, restoration and protection of the lake – on Friday released the latest 5-year update to its guiding plan.

The plan outlined continued threats like high phosphorus levels, harmful algae blooms (HABs), toxic substances and pathogens, and aquatic invasive species. It championed the more than $20 million in grants to more than 600 groups and individuals the program has made to reduce pollution, educate the public, and research the lake and its health.

The new iteration will increase the focus on climate change impacts in the basin and seek to engage a more diverse group of stakeholders.

There’s plenty more happening on the water beat this time of year.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 2, 2022

Sun’s out, HABs out?

HABs map

As people enjoyed a long holiday weekend on the water and trails in the Adirondacks, the unofficial start to summer, another season opened for the year: the dreaded harmful algal blooms (HABs).

The Department of Environmental Conservation last week announced the beginning of the reporting season for harmful algal blooms in waters across the state and the Adirondacks. The agency’s map keeps track of HABs reported in the past two weeks as well as the entire season and is the best real-time view of the spread of the potentially-toxic algal blooms across the state.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 21, 2022

Lake George groups at odds over milfoil plan

lake george

The Lake George Association last week made good on its promise to explore all options for blocking the planned use of an aquatic herbicide on Lake George.

The nation’s oldest lake association – along with Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky, the Town of Hague and a shoreline resident – sued Thursday to stop the herbicide plan. In its petition, the association took aim at the process that led to permit approvals by the Department of Environmental Conservation and Adirondack Park Agency, arguing the agencies failed to consider important concerns raised by the public. The suit accuses the state agencies of “behind the scenes decision-making” to rush the plan to approval.

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