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.
Posts Tagged ‘water quality’
Funding provided to help farmers address water quality challenges
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced nearly $14 million has been awarded to protect clean water across the state. This funding will support agricultural water quality conservation projects across the state, benefiting 91 farms, and is provided through the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control program, which supports projects that address water quality challenges in priority watersheds and protect the environment.
“New York continues to take decisive action to protect access to clean water across the state,” Governor Hochul said. “This money will go towards fulfilling both those goals by encouraging the implementation of cost-effective waterway protection and reducing our carbon footprint.”
The projects have been awarded to 25 County Soil and Water Conservation Districts, on behalf of the farms, who will support on-farm environmental planning and the implementation of best management practice (BMP) systems to keep nutrients and other potential pollutants from entering waterways. BMPs include a variety of measures, including vegetative buffers along streams, cover crops, nutrient management through manure storage, and other conservation measures.
Raquette Lake to hold public meeting regarding lake management plan
2nd and Final Public Meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 2, 2021 to be held via Zoom
RAQUETTE LAKE, NY – The Raquette Lake Preservation Foundation (RLPF) and Northeast Aquatic Research (NEAR) have been working with governmental, NGO, academic and community partners to develop a Lake Management Plan (LMP) for over two years. The study has inventoried the current environmental conditions and aquatic plant life in the lake. NEAR is recommending management priorities for protecting the water quality of the lake, including aquatic invasive species prevention and management; the expansion of research partnerships; and increased public education and awareness of water science.
RLPF would like to encourage anyone interested to come learn more about NEAR’s findings and recommendations from this in-depth process. Please come and join us from the comfort of your home or office as we discuss the Lake Management Plan that is being developed for Raquette Lake to combat Invasive Species. Public input has been critical to the final plan which will be completed in December 2021. Ask questions, and hear about the work completed so far. Let your voice be heard!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a zoom link to the presentation.
Photo of Raquette Lake by Dave Gibson/Almanack file photo
The HABs keep on happening on Lake George. Shortly after we reported on an early-October harmful algal bloom on Lake George, the state Department of Environmental Conservation updated its useful map of HABs across the state. And state officials confirmed yet more HABs on Lake George on Nov. 8-11.
Harmful algal blooms – or HABs – are formations of cyanobacteria, which can rise to the water’s surface under the right conditions. While HABs have the potential to turn toxic, toxins have not been detected in the Lake George HABs. The HABs on Lake George continued in the Harris Bay area and in November the confirmed blooms included some around Cotton near Bolton Landing, according to the DEC map.
Discussion time: Septic inspections
This week on Adirondack Explorer’s website, we published an article about Lake George’s plans to create a wide-reaching septic inspection program.
From the article, by Zachary Matson:
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.
Book explores connections between water quality, algal blooms
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.
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
Upper Saranac Monitoring Platform reports daily from the lake
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.
Award-winning water reporting
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.
Follow the discussion on Lake George
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.
Pollution is a rural problem, too
Water pollution is a big concern for us here in the Adirondack Park, and we’re not just talking about the kind that wafts in from out-of-state smokestacks and deposits acid in our lakes.
A New Day is Dawning on Lake George Protection
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.
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A blown deadline
By the Times Union editorial board
Nonexistent task forces have a 100 percent track record of not issuing reports by deadline. So in that sense, the state’s road salt panel is doing exactly what New Yorkers expected of it.
Under the 2020 legislation establishing it, the task force was supposed to study the impact of road salt in the Adirondacks and come up with a pilot plan for reducing it, reporting to the Legislature by Dec. 1, 2021 – as in, weeks ago.
What’s at stake here? Oh, only public health, the environment, and the Adirondack economy. Excess road salt poisons the wells that North Country residents drink from. It degrades farmland, fouls lakes, desiccates trees.
Yes, things have been a bit … chaotic in the Executive Chamber this year. But in the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, long appointment delays and other forms of foot-dragging were a feature, not a bug. Skeptics might speculate that for Mr. Cuomo, the announcement of a plan of action was more important than its implementation.
All of the panel’s members have now been recommended, state officials say, and appointments are in the process of being finalized. We know Gov. Kathy Hochul is catching up on a backlog on empty positions. Prioritizing this process will be a significant way her administration can differentiate itself from its predecessor. State government needs to get moving on this important issue, collecting data transparently and thoroughly, and – at the most basic level – doing what it said it was going to do.
Editor’s note: This originally ran Dec. 13 in the (Albany) Times Union. Used by permission.