Harris Bay

Harris Bay on Lake George, NY

Welcome to Harris Bay

Bay-by-Bay visited Harris Bay! View the presentation below to gain insight into the unique makeup of your bay, the greatest threats facing the water quality, and how you as homeowners, business owners, or Lake users can help protect it. Learn about:

Learn More

  • Bay By Bay Summer Event Series

    Details from the July Event

    Learn about priority issues and what you can do on your property to protect Lake George.

  • Map of Impervious Surface in Harris Bay

    What's In the Harris Bay Watershed?

    Learn about the characteristics of your bay and what they mean for your water quality.

Harris Bay Profile

Harris Bay on Lake George, NY

Located in the Town of Queensbury in Warren County, the Harris Bay watershed flows into the Dome Island sub-basin of Lake George. This sub-basin is named for the famous dome-shaped island and contains the deepest location in the lake.

The Critical Environmental Area (CEA), a band of land extending back 500 feet from the shoreline and considered the most ​influential land to the lake's water quality, makes up 22% of the watershed (287 acres).

  • Properties: Over 75% of the properties in the watershed are within the CEA (343 of 452).
  • Streams: There is less than 0.4 miles of DEC regulated AA-Special streams, however there are nearly 12 miles of intermittent streams that only flow during portions of the year (Spring runoff or rain events) or run year-round and are unregulated by DEC at this time.
  • Roads: 9.3 miles of roads: including 6.4 miles of Town roads, 1.8 miles of State roads, and 0.9 miles of Private roads. Of the 9.3 miles, 0.9 miles are within 100 feet of the shoreline and at a greater risk for introducing salt and other runoff to the lake.
Map of Impervious Surface in Harris Bay

Impervious Surface Is Impacting Water Quality

15% of the land in the CEA is covered by impervious surfaces such as roads, roofs, or driveways. Impervious surfaces covering more than 10% of the CEA will have an impact on water quality. You can improve your water quality by avoiding further impervious surface development, capturing any stormwater runoff between these surfaces and streams or the lake shore, and converting existing surfaces into something that water can sink into, like permeable pavers. Consider planting a shoreline buffer as a protective cushion for the lake.

View the Impervious Surface Map

Map of Septic Systems in Harris Bay

Septic Systems

90% of the properties (275) in the Harris Bay watershed are on private septic systems. Improperly treated wastewater from aging, failing or inadequately designed septic systems is impacting Lake George water quality, threatening human health with organic matter, bacterial and viral pathogens, and feeding algae growth with excess nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, that can potentially lead to harmful algal blooms (HABs). If you’re a septic system owner, Lake George needs you to contribute to water quality protection by taking the actions outlined in the link below to ensure your septic system is operating properly. 

Stop Wastewater Pollution

Tree cover in Harris Bay

Areas to Protect From Development and Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

The forested and scrub/shrub wetlands of the Harris Bay watershed area covers approximately 450 acres. That's over 34% of the watershed's area and it provides a critical service to Warner Bay's water quality by cleaning water flowing into the lake. It's an important area to protect.

22% of the watershed has steep slopes. Most are located on either side of the Dunham’s Bay Marsh and largely remains undeveloped. Logging, a large tree die off, and development in those areas would all likely lead to additional stormwater runoff.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) is slowly spreading around the Lake, threatening the health of our Hemlock forests. Approximately 21% of the tree cover is Conifer (evergreen) trees, some of which are Hemlocks. Hemlock stands within your watershed have the potential to become infested without proper monitoring and management. The closest confirmed infestation is 0.6 miles from your watershed. HWA often spreads via birds and will likely arrive around Harris Bay soon.

View the Conifer Map

Ready to protect your bay?

Become a Lake Protector

HARRIS Bay Events

Community Presentation: 7/13/22

Residents gathered to hear about the priority issues in Harris Bay. You can view the presentation. If you'd like to get notifications of future events in Harris Bay, become a Lake Protector.

Harris Bay Meeting

Mike Kelly, of IBM Research and the Jefferson Project, speaks to Harris Bay residents at the 2022 Bay-by-Bay event.