Enews: New laws, Indian & West Brook Projects
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Floating Classroom busy this fall -- teaching the future stewards of Lake George
FloatingClassroomFall2011SmileWow, there's hardly been a day to breathe for the staff on the Floating Classroom this fall. This fall we are teaching students from Ticonderoga (7th graders), Bolton (6th and 7th graders), Queensbury (3rd graders), Lake George (7th graders), Whitehall (7th graders), Putnam (3rd - 6th graders), Burnt Hills Ballston Lake (5th graders), Greenwich (7th graders), Bethlehem Lab School and Hunter-Tannersville School. Area home schoolers are also participating this fall. Whew! Our goal is to prepare and inspire all of these students to be our future lake stewards.

Staff has developed a new third grade curriculum for this fall. All of our school programs address New York State learning standards and the core curriculum for science. Through hands-on inquiry, students on the Floating Classroom gain experience in these core skills: classifying; communicating observations; comparing and contrasting data; and gathering, organizing and interpreting data. They learn new vocabulary related to lake science, observe the tiny animals -- zooplankton --  that are key to all life in Lake George, and find out about threats to the lake from pollution, stormwater and invasive species.

 
Stormwater project at Indian Brook complete
IndianBrookBasin2The LGA has completed a multi-year lake saving project to protect the upstream waters of Indian Brook. Near the intersection of Federal Hill and Sawmill roads in the town of Bolton, the LGA has created two sediment basins, an enhanced wetland area, and roadside drainage improvements.

"Our goal in creating the second sediment basin was two-fold,” says Randy Rath, LGA project manager. “One, create an offline basin that will capture and settle out suspended material during storm events. Two, enhance an existing wetland area and use the natural process of wetland formation to remove some nutrients present in the water column.” LGA Director of Education Emily DeBolt selected plants to match wetland species already present in the area. Read the full news release here.

 
Queensbury passes new fertilizer laws
PhosphorusFreefertilizer bagLast month the Queensbury Town Board voted unanimously in favor of a local law to ban the use of fertilizer within 50 feet of the shoreline of Lake George. The law also forbids the use of phosphorus fertilizer between 50 and 200 feet of the Lake George shoreline. It also prohibits the application of fertilizer on impermeable surfaces. Read the complete law here. LGA Director of Education Emily DeBolt gave a presentation at the September town board meeting, citing the effects of too much phosphorus on Lake George.  

Last September 1, similar laws in the town and village of Lake George went into effect. In the town and village of Lake George it is illegal to apply fertilizers containing phosphorus. (See the LGA brochure here.) Those laws also state:

• You may not fertilize between Dec. 1 and April 1.
• You may not spread any fertilizer on hard surfaces such as streets, sidewalks,and driveways. If you accidentally spill or spread fertilizer on a hard surface, clean it up immediately.
• In the town, you may not apply fertilizer within 20 feet of any surface water unless there is a vegetative buffer at least 10 feet wide separating the lawn from the water. In the village, you may not apply fertilizer anywhere without the 10 foot buffer.


On January 1 in the coming year, a state law will go into effect. It prohibits phosphorus fertilizer on lawns or nonagricultural turf, except for new lawns or when a soil test demonstrates that phosphorus is needed. It also prohibits the application of fertilizer on impervious surfaces, and on lawn or non-agricultural turf between December 1 and April 1. In addition, fertilizer cannot be applied
within 20 feet of any surface water, unless there is a continuous vegetative buffer at least ten feet wide, separating the lawn from the water. 

 
Volunteers transform West Brook into a bird's paradise
WestBrookVolunteerInvasivePullSept2011Over 30 very determined volunteers from the LGA and the Southern Adirondack Audubon Society (SAAS) worked diligently on Sat. Sept 17 to remove 36 very well established invasive shrubby honeysuckle bushes along the banks of West Brook. It was important for us to remove these plants before they could seed the north and south parcels of the West Brook Conservation Initiative project – which have been recently graded, and are particularly susceptible to becoming a new home for invasives.

The invasives were replaced with a variety of Adirondack native shrubs that have either berries or seeds. A Together Green grant received by SAAS paid for the new shrubs, which included winterberry, red chokeberry, silky dogwood, red twig dogwood, swamp rose, buttonbush, eastern ninebark, and northern bayberry.

"Shrubby honeysuckle has lots of berries, but they aren’t actually good for the birds," says LGA Education Director Emily DeBolt. Honeysuckle berries provide sugar water and are like fast food for the birds that looks great and tastes good, but provides little nutrition. A number of native shrubs – like dogwood and northern bayberry – have berries with a very high fat content – so they are great for the birds.

 
Asian clam lake-wide survey underway with LGA funding
AsianClamSurveyFall2011 2The Lake George Asian Clam Rapid Response Task Force is moving ahead, despite setbacks caused by Tropical Storm Irene. The LGACRRTF is:

Evaluating the success of the benthic barrier mat treatment at Lake George Village and continuing clam treatment there. Clam mortality under the mats was over 99%. Five percent of the area still needs treatment, and the task force is completing that, as well as re-treating areas that did not achieve 100% mortality.

Completing a lake-wide survey.
Over 100 sites identified as high-priority potential Asian clam habitat (marinas, boat launches, and public beaches) were surveyed in August by staff from the Darrin Fresh Water Institute (DFWI) and the LGA. This effort brought to light the Treasure Cove and Norowal clam colonies. Currently, a dive team is surveying the littoral zone in the northern end of the lake. Fifty-one northerly sites have been identified as likely clam habitat: shallow areas with sandy bottom. The targeted locations vary in size from 50 feet to 1000 feet along the shore. Survey work is slow and follows a meticulous protocol that includes running sediment through a sieve every few feet along prescribed patterns. So far, no clams have been found in the northern sites. The crew moves into the Narrows and southern sections next week. The LGA is funding the lake-wide survey at a cost estimated to exceed $16,000. We expect the survey to be complete by mid to late October.

Read the full news release here.
 
Mike White retires
LGPC Seal 1Mike White, the executive director of the Lake George Park Commission has retired after 30 years of service. His last official day was September 28, but he is continuing to serve the commission as a volunteer as needed during the transition to a permanent replacement. Molly Gallagher is serving as interim director.

The Park Commission is a New York State government agency.

Formed in 1961, and substantially re-empowered in 1987, the commission developed and implemented a program to protect public safety and promote recreational quality on Lake George. At the time, all kinds of commercial uses were competing for limited space on the lake and new dock construction was obliterating the shoreline. There was also a rapid increase in boating traffic and no rules in place to manage it. The commission coordinated efforts to physically manage and apportion space. It also educated users, created regulations, and empowered and equipped a marine patrol for enforcement  In addition, to protect water quality, the commission formed a local committee of scientists, engineers, analysts, and other volunteers.  Together, they implemented the first watershed-wide stormwater program in the country.

During Mike's tenure, the commission eventually expanded to take on all of the responsibilities it has today:

- Operating a lake-wide marine safety and law enforcement patrol;
- Administering regulations on water vessels' speed, noise, anchoring and more;
- Registering boats;
- Regulating dock, mooring and marina construction to prevent congestion and safety hazards;
- Investigating pollution and operating a pollution hotline;
- Administering stormwater management and invasive species management programs.

The LGA extends its best wishes to Mike.

 
New LGA educational displays at town halls
Educ Display At BoltonThe LGA's educational and outreach staff has installed new lake-friendly living educational displays at the Lake George Town Hall and the Bolton Town Hall. Soon a display will go into the Ticonderoga Town Hall as well. Do you know of a public place where people could learn more about how to live in a lake-friendly way? Give us a call, or send us an email.

Pictured here, left to right: Emily DeBolt, LGA director of education; Ron Conover, supervisor, town of Bolton; Kristen Rohne, LGA watershed educator; and Jill Trunko, LGA intern.
 
LGA sponsors New PBS documentary on Lake George invasive species
MountainLakeInterviewMountain Lake PBS is currently producing a new documentary entitled LAKE INVADERS: The Battle to Fight Invasive Species Threatening to Lake George Basin. The LGA is a sponsor of the documentary, which will air on Mountain Lake PBS, WMHT and other PBS stations in New York.

Segments from the full length documentary will be featured on the weekly news program Mountain Lakes Journal. (See the recent episode covering the Warren County Invasive Transport Law, and featuring interviews with LGA Executive Director Walt Lender.) The program will cover: environmental and economic dangers posed by current invasive species in Lake George, and its tributaries; the terrestrial and aquatic species that could threaten the Lake in the future; and the outstanding collaborative efforts being made to combat invasive species in Lake George, that we hope will serve as a model for other lakes.   

 

SeptOct2011newslettercoverCheck out the LGA Sept/Oct print newsletter (Sent to members' homes.)  Read stories on the LGA's geothermal heating and cooling system (and how you can do it too!), plus updates on the our lake saving stream projects, Lake Stewards, CSLAP, new members and new board directors... and much more!!!  Would you like a copy sent to your home?  Please become an LGA member today, and support our lake conservation efforts.

Plus...follow our lake-friendly living blog on LakeGeorge.com, and see our 10 Lake Protection Tips on the LakeGeorge.com Smart Phone App!
 

       Lake George Association  PO Box 408, Lake George, NY   12845          LakeFriendlyLiving Blog           f_logo
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