Posts Tagged ‘water line’

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

How many lake trout in Follensby Pond?

Follensby Pond

A new Adirondack laboratory

Over a decade ago, The Nature Conservancy paid a team of lake ecologists to assess the fish population at Follensby Pond, especially its prized lake trout fishery.

TNC had acquired the 970-acre lake and the surrounding 14,600 acres and were in the slow process of working out the details of its future with the state

The scientists, led by Chris Solomon, now of the Cary Institute, estimated the lake trout population in the low thousands (with just over 100 trophy-sized individuals topping 30 inches) and found that Follensby lake trout appeared to grow more slowly than typical of the slow-growing species. They simulated how the lake trout would respond to a variety of different angling pressures.

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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Adirondack towns score state water $$$

The Lake George Land Trust received over $4 million in state grants this month to protect land in the Lake George watershed. Photo by Zachary Matson

Grant money to preserve land, upgrade treatment plants, extend trout habitat

From removing culverts and reducing roadside erosion to covering salt piles and improving wastewater treatment plants, the latest round of state water quality grants will fund projects across the Adirondack Park.

State officials last week announced over $166 million statewide to fund 187 projects, including more than $6.3 million in Adirondack communities.

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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Protecting land protects water

Aerial view of intact forests along the North Branch of the Boquet River on the Ben Wever Farm property

Land protecting water

Healthy and protected forests create healthy water resources. And now the Open Space Institute has data to back it up.

OSI, one of the Northeast’s leading conservation organizations, last week published a report outlining how land conservation can serve as a strategy to protect and clean water.

The report set out to “bridge the gap between the broad ecosystem benefits often measured by land trusts and the pollutant load measures that serve as the primary ‘currency’ of clean water programs.”

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Friday, February 9, 2024

Miracle Ice

Steps of Olympic Center in winter

Ice that melts ice

The new refrigeration system at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid hums away throughout the winter, cooling three indoor rinks and the massive outdoor skating oval.

Upgraded in 2021 for $11.5 million, the improved system does something visitors to the Olympic rinks may not realize: It helps keep the sidewalks clear of snow and ice.

The massive compressors generate waste heat as they chill glycol pumped underneath the rinks. That heat is then sent to pipes installed underneath some of the center’s sidewalks outside. That repurposed waste heat helps keep the facility’s walkways clear and dry.

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Sunday, February 4, 2024

A look back at state water spending

Wastewater treatment plant worker

A look back at key water spending

New York has invested $5 billion over the last seven years into a clean water grant program bolstering drinking water, wastewater and other projects across the state.

But the governor’s administration has failed to keep pace with the investment, leaving around $1.6 billion unspent despite a growing list of shovel-ready projects across the state, a new analysis from Environmental Advocates of New York found.

The report examined spending under the state’s Clean Water Infrastructure Act first approved in 2017. It found that the bulk of the spending in that time has been used to support improvements to municipal wastewater and drinking water systems, supporting 2,100 projects in total.

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Thursday, January 25, 2024

Feds cut lake monitoring money

small boat on a big lake as part of a lake monitoring program

About a year ago, researchers at the Adirondack Watershed Institute started work on the region’s longest-running lake monitoring project, the Adirondack Long Term Monitoring program.

Since the 1980s, scientists have collected water chemistry data from 58 lakes throughout the Adirondacks — initially on a monthly basis and now slightly less frequently.

The program, administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, was set up to monitor the impacts and regional recovery from acid rain.

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Thursday, January 18, 2024

Salt solutions from outside New York

A highway truck heads along Route 9N in Upper Jay near the East Branch of the Ausable River.

Seeking solutions:

New York uses more road salt than any state in the country. But that doesn’t mean it’s the only state grappling with the perennial challenge of keeping roads safe while minimizing damage to critical water resources.

For our current issue of Adirondack Explorer magazine, I scoured midwestern states for lessons that could inform debates in the Adirondack Park about how best to control road salt pollution.

Here’s an overview of what I found:

  • Regulate: Despite a longstanding federal recommendation, New York has never adopted a chloride standard for aquatic environments. While many of the standards I found in other state were well above levels considered healthy for lake systems, those rules were driving more formalized adoption of best practices than we have seen in New York. State officials have suggested a chloride standards is in the works in New York.

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Saturday, January 13, 2024

Let’s talk salt

State plow truck

Join Us!

The Adirondack Road Salt Reduction Task Force in September released its long-awaited recommendations to rein in the region’s road salt use, but a central question remains. What next?

The Adirondack Explorer will be hosting a discussion on Feb. 15 at the Wild Center beginning at 10 a.m. to dive into that question and many others with a panel of government leaders, task force members and independent experts.

We hope you will join us to learn more about the report and the path forward. The Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Transportation have scheduled officials to join and talk about how their agencies are working to implement the report’s proposals.

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Thursday, January 4, 2024

Water Line goes West

The Sandy River at Oxbow Regional Park

Coalition of the undammed

Drop by a riverside hike on a holiday vacation to the Pacific Northwest and get an unexpected lesson on dam removal.

The Sandy River near Portland, Oregon, has flown freely since 2007. That summer Portland General Electric blew to pieces its Marmot Dam and the electricity it generated for around 16,500 homes.

A few months later, as planned, a massive deluge washed away a temporary earthen cofferdam used for removal and much of the gargantuan load of sediment that had built up behind the dam since it was installed in 1913.

When salmon were federally listed as threatened in 1998, their runs on the Sandy, which originates from glaciers on Mount Hood, were down to as little as 10% of historic levels. That status required new protective measures when the dam went up for license renewal.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2023

The year that was

 

The Indian Lake Stone Dam

The big stories of 2023

Dams. Road salt. Floods. Milfoil.

Baby Water Line!

2023 was a big year on the Adirondack water beat. Here’s a look back at some of the stories I covered over the past year.

  • Dam Safety: Over 500 dams shape the Adirondack Park. Many are gradually deteriorating and present a quiet threat to public safety, infrastructure and aquatic ecosystems. Varied ownership, high costs, intensive regulations and seemingly-remote risks complicate the challenge facing dam owners, communities and state regulators looking to upgrade the critical structures found in nearly every corner of the park.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Floods strike again

 

A truck pushes through a section of Route 9 closed from flooding.

Floods cut off access

Floods throughout the Adirondack Park closed roads, cut off access and inundated large areas on Monday amid long-lasting rain storms in warmer-than-usual December weather.

Rivers swelled overnight and throughout Monday, with many reaching flood stage on Monday. Key sections of state Routes 30, 73, 9 and 9N were closed, as were numerous secondary roads throughout the region.

Local governments and counties declared states of emergency, and school was disrupted in some school districts.

The Ausable and Boquet, New York’s steepest rivers, rose quickly during the downpour. Water on the Ausable rose to the bottom of the bridge crossing it near the Olympic ski jumps in Lake Placid, and the Boquet swamped nearby roads.

Some rivers rose even higher than in July, when heavy rainstorms led to flooding and elevated water levels throughout much of the season. Summer or winter… flooding is a central challenge to Adirondack communities.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, December 15, 2023

Big Salt, Big Money

A state Department of Transportation salt storage dome

Piling up the salt

Statewide contracts managed through the Office of General Services lower the price and streamlines the purchase of commodities like fuel, milk and, of course, road salt.

A half-dozen suppliers accounted for more than $850 million in salt purchases statewide the past five years under the OGS contract, according to state records.

American Rock Salt in Mount Morris near Rochester and Minnesota’s Cargill supplied nearly three-quarters of all salt ordered by state agencies, local governments and other users under OGS’s buying agreement.

The vast quantities of salt that can be purchased at those rates — on average 2.7 million tons each of the past fives years — helps keep society humming along the state’s byways and highways. It also continues to accumulate in soil, groundwater and surface water — the water we count on for drinking and sustaining aquatic life.

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Monday, December 11, 2023

Dear Governor

low salt road sign

Hochul hears from salt reduction advocates

A pair of letters sent to Gov. Kathy Hochul last month urged the governor to do more to follow through on the road salt reduction proposals outlined in the Adirondack Road Salt Reduction Task Force report.

The 10 members of the task force Hochul appointed joined a letter that asked her to empower state agencies to develop an action plan to implement the task force’s numerous recommendations.

A coalition of seven Adirondack organizations — including the Adirondack Watershed Institute, Adirondack Council and AdkAction — signed a second letter that outlined the groups’ proposal for moving forward. That letter suggested Hochul establish an interagency council that could bring together state officials to focus on salt reduction efforts. They also called for a new staff position to coordinate the interagency work.

A similar government body exists to facilitate work on invasive species, and the groups said it could serve as model for salt reduction.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Tupper Lake’s water woes

Tupper Lake building

Tupper Lake looks to switch back to lake water after long move to wells

It isn’t always easy for Adirondack communities looking for a public water source.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about lingering frustrations in Ticonderoga over a long-running move to groundwater wells. Supervisor Mark Wright earlier this month handily beat back an electoral challenge there.

In Tupper Lake, incoming mayor Mary Fontana will have her hands full with a major project to switch the village water supply back to Tupper Lake and overhaul an old filtration plant. The village had moved to new groundwater wells in 2018, but a problem with iron in the ground is creating a problem of foul-looking water coming out of the taps.

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Saturday, November 25, 2023

What comes next for ProcellaCOR?

 

Paradox Lake as seen from Severance Mountain.

Paradox Lake approved for herbicide in battle against invasives

As the Adirondack Park Agency board last week considered allowing the Paradox Lake Association to use a chemical herbicide to fight invasive milfoil, it started to open the door to a broader discussion.

As lake communities around the park see ProcellaCOR EC as a major improvement over other management tools, what is the best way to monitor long term impacts? And how to assist communities with more strategic lake planning?

The relatively new herbicide has been used to effectively kill Eurasian watermilfoil on scores of lakes around the Northeast, including on Minerva Lake in 2020 and Lake Luzerne this summer. APA staff reported a notable increase in permit applications with DEC and suggested a surge in requests could be headed the APA’s way. While trying not to stray too far from the permit on the table, board members raised questions about the broader landscape.

» Continue Reading.



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