Saint Albans Vermont based author, artist and aquatic biologist, Corrina Parnapy has released a new book compiled from over a decade of scientific research within the Adirondacks and Vermont, and articles she’s had published regionally and nationally, all focused on the connection between water quality and algae. From road salt, acid rain, invasive species, sewage waste, fertilizers, to lawn care practices; all have a connection and impact on algae populations.
Posts Tagged ‘water quality’
Sometimes it’s not enough to let nature take its course. At least, when humans have intervened and altered a wild river, it can take humans to help restore the river’s health.
That’s what’s happening now on the East Branch of the Ausable River, as Explorer correspondent Tim Rowland reports. It’s one of the most revered watersheds in the East, and its health, water quality and ability to shelter cool, deep pools could prove critical to the persistence of native brook trout as the climate warms.
The work builds on years of improvements by restoration partners including the Ausable River Association, whose work restoring “the Dream Mile” intern Ben Westcott profiled for us a couple of years ago.
Ausable River Association stream restoration associate Gary Henry, left, and executive director Kelley Tucker go over restoration plans on the shore of the East Branch of the Ausable River in Upper Jay. Photo by Mike Lynch
Editor’s note: This first appeared in Adirondack Explorer’s weekly “Water Line” newsletter. Click here to sign up.
Sometimes in the environmental protection field there’s a celebration of achievements before they’re fully realized. Case in point: We recently reported that a state road salt task force that was celebrated as a potential win for Adirondack water quality was not actually a done deal, as the governor has yet to appoint its members.
When the governor announced his resignation, another such premature victory came to light: The state’s new boat inspection law to prevent movement of invasive species in the park’s waters still awaits a governor’s signature. We reported on that law’s passage months ago, but technically, it’s not reality yet.
Environmental groups are hopeful that incoming Gov. Kathy Hochul will finish the job. The Adirondack Council’s Willie Janeway said this about it in a news release: “Many of the state’s functions inside the Adirondack Park have ground to a halt as the executive branch of government succumbed to administrative paralysis while the current Governor attempted to defend his actions. As Kathy Hochul becomes governor, the entire state will have an opportunity to heal and make progress again.”
It’s important work, as is the road salt study, septic and sewage management and proposed new surveys of park lakes’ changing ecology. We’ll see how the new governor approaches these problems.
Editor’s note: This first appeared in the Explorer’s weekly “Water Line” newsletter. Click here to sign up.
Photo courtesy of Adirondack Watershed Institute
The Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) has launched a new interactive website to display near real-time data on water quality and weather conditions on Upper Saranac Lake.
One of the Adirondack Explorer’s priorities over the last couple of years has been to thoroughly explain the park’s hidden water quality issues, including the problems associated with New York State’s heavy use of road salt in winter. So it was a nice affirmation recently when the Society of Environmental Journalists honored that work, and reporter Ry Rivard, with an honorable mention.
Recently, the Explorer’s Gwendolyn Craig reported that the Lake George Park Commission had assembled a committee to consider the effects of septic systems on the lake’s water, and to discuss whether or how to regulate them. At its meeting today, the commission announced that Essex and Washington counties had joined Warren County on the committee, providing representation for all lands around the lake.
This question of septics and other possible sources of nutrient pollution in the “Queen of American Lakes” is a topic in which the Explorer has invested a considerable amount of reporting, as wastewater pollution is emerging as a top priority in the Adirondacks. We’ll continue following it and explaining how it may affect homeowners, vacationers and the environment. In the meantime, this new committee will meet today, Aug. 5, and you can find information for following that discussion online by clicking this link.
Lake George photo from the Almanack archive
This first appeared in the Explorer’s weekly “Water Line” newsletter. Click here to subscribe.
By Walt Lender, Executive Director, Lake George Association and Eric Siy, Executive Director, The FUND for Lake George
The unprecedented threats imperiling the water quality of Lake George demanded a game-changing response. It came on March 9.
In a move that was both visionary in purpose and difference-making in action, the boards of the Lake George Association and The FUND for Lake George approved a merger that will create a single new preeminent and more powerful protector for the Queen of American Lakes.
It’s a no-brainer that acing a physics exam won’t affect one’s grade in history class, yet it’s frequent to assume that a water test, not otherwise specified, covers all the potential bases. A common water test is for coliform bacteria, the presence of which would indicate a leaking septic field, or/ and manure runoff. If the lab gets back to you with a result of ND or “non-detect,” it’s great news, but it is by no means a clean bill of health.
Wells, no matter how deep, are vulnerable to contaminants that originate on the surface. Pesticide residues, nitrates from commercial fertilizers, benzene and other dissolved-phase petroleum compounds, and commercial degreasers are but a few of the things that can end up spewing from our faucets.
Across northern NY State, around 40% of residents rely on wells for drinking water. We are very fortunate in our little corner of the planet to have such easy access to fresh water. Broadly speaking, aquifers in our region are shallow, with the water table less than 50 feet below ground. In fact, dug wells still exist at some rural homes.
AdkAction was recently awarded $50,000 from the Lake Champlain Basin Program. The grant is for a newly formed “Clean Water, Safe Roads” partnership, which will work to reduce salt pollution along the 125-mile-long lake between New York and Vermont. Together with partners from Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute and Lake Champlain Sea Grant, the project partners intend to enact an in-depth and personalized outreach and education program to municipal highway departments in the Lake Champlain Basin Area.
The first five rounds of state clean water grant programs have provided more than $58 million directly to Adirondack communities, plus another $94 million in State Revolving Loan Fund low-interest loans, for a total economic boost of $152 million in clean water and drinking water infrastructure improvements since 2015, the Adirondack Council announced today.
The Adirondack Council applauded the fact that, in total, 72 NYS Clean Water and Drinking Water Grants have gone to 36 Adirondack communities, totaling $58,068,291, according to the Council’s report Adirondack Clean Water 2020: Success Made/Wastewater Treatment Needs Ahead.
You care about the Adirondacks, its woods, waters and people. That’s why you’re reading the Explorer (and its sister site the Adirondack Almanack), on top of everything else going on in the world.
Like the park, the Explorer is a special place. Last year, it hired me to come write about water — so abundant here we might just take it for granted.
As beautiful and seemingly protected as that water is, I’ve reported how that beauty and those protections only run so deep. There’s pollution we can’t see and problems we haven’t fixed, like the contamination caused by road salt or the sewage slowly fouling up Lake George.
(Calling all citizen scientists! The following is from Water Line, a weekly newsletter by Adirondack Explorer water reporter Ry Rivard.)
Late last year, I began requesting documents from the state of New York to help me understand who around the Adirondacks may be drinking potentially unsafe water.
While larger communities in the state of New York post their annual drinking water quality reports online, not all smaller communities do this.
New York is notoriously slow in responding to requests for public records. To give state officials the benefit of the doubt, it’s a big state and a lot of people want to know things about it. The other explanation is that government officials like to control information, particularly information that might scare people or make themselves look bad.
Flavored ice treats such as the popsicle and its plastic-sheathed cousin the freeze-pop have been around since the 1920s, but until recently the selections have been less than bold; mainly fruits, with maybe a watermelon ice-pop here and there.
But Canada and the northern U.S. have some daring thinkers who were tired of conventional frozen fare. As a result of their innovations, a number of snowy cities now offer cheese-flavored ice, as well as pickle and beet. No lie. » Continue Reading.
Leanna Thalmann of Chazy, NY, earned nationally-recognized First Place honors for her poster presentation of the water quality research funded by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) at the joint annual meeting of the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America in November 2019 in San Antonio, TX.
Thalmann, a University of Vermont soil science graduate student, has been involved with data collection and analysis as part of the William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute team conducting the NNYADP-funded water quality research. This work plays a role in building the data-driven science needed to accurately guide water quality conservation. » Continue Reading.