Lake Protectors in Action

Your Neighbors are Protecting Lake George

Lake Protectors in Action

At a time of unprecedented water quality threats, all of us can — and must — do our part to keep Lake George clear and clean. In this series of profiles, the LGA is pleased to recognize those who are Leading by Example to protect the Lake we all love. We hope these stories inform and inspire everyone to sign-up to become a Lake Protector and begin making protection personal at your home, your business or anywhere on the Lake. Your participation is essential at this pivotal time. Never has our Lake needed us more.

Robert and Franny Nemer

Robert and Franny Nemer at the 2023 Glens Falls Symphony Springtime Gala at the Lake George Club in Diamond Point.

Robert Nemer: Protecting Lake George with Advocacy and Targeted Giving

“I’m a volunteer,” says Robert Nemer, co-owner of four automobile dealerships in Queensbury, Saratoga Springs, and Latham, NY.

Yes...but those humble words don’t come close to capturing his leadership when it comes to protecting Lake George. His actions, however, do. Again and again.

woman with gray hair styled in a bun, wearing a black & white v-neck shirt, standing next to a white man, wearing a white collar shirt with trees in the background.

The White Family: New Septic System Helps Brighten Future of Dark Bay

When the White family learned that adding another bedroom to their summer home on Dark Bay would require the installation of a new septic system, they didn’t lose sleep over it. They made the investment because it’s good for Lake George.


An adult man wearing a blue t-shirt sitting on a dock with two small children standing in front of him - a boy wearing a pale-yellow long sleeve shirt and pink shorts and a blonde girl with her hands under her chin wearing a light blue shirt with rainbows. Next to the trio stands another white man, wearing a green t-shirt and light blue shorts with anchors. He is holding in his arms a toddler that is wearing a white, blue, and red swimming outfit. A lake and mountains are in the background

Steve Seaboyer: Leading The Way to a Cleaner Lake George On Rockhurst Peninsula

The view from Steve and Debby Seaboyer’s deck overlooking Lake George from the Rockhurst peninsula in the town of Queensbury is like a postcard coming to life. But for Steve, a retired engineer and business owner, things won’t be picture-perfect on Rockhurst until one big problem is corrected.

Man wearing a blue, pink, and white shirt with his arm around a woman wearing a white and blues strips shirt with flowers standing with Lake George in the background

Steve and Cathie Schonwetter: Committed to Keeping the Lake's Water Pure

Walking around Steve and Cathie Schonwetter’s home on the east side of Lake George, the beauty unfolding before you is breathtaking. 

But it’s the things they’ve done to protect that beauty that Steve and Cathie point out first.

The Schonwetters are Lake Protectors.

Virginia "Ginny" Rowan Smith from Oneida Bay is a Lake Protector at Lake George

Protecting One Little Stream Will Have Big Benefits to Lake George

When Virginia “Ginny” Rowan Smith saw the damage wreaked by a torrential rainstorm on the seasonal stream that runs down the Oneida Bay property she owns with her husband, Manning, and saw that their retention pond was nearly overflowing with silt and mud, she knew she had to act to protect Lake George water quality.

Rosemary Pusateri

Retiree Never Stops Working When it Comes to Protecting Our Lake

Rosemary Pusateri was taken aback in recent years by the number of boats launching from Million Dollar Beach in Lake George when the mandatory invasive species inspection station was closed. So, she took out her camera, marshaled her friends, and set out to make a difference.

DeFranco Landscaping leading by example to protect our lake

Showing Property Owners the Way to Lake-protective Landscaping

When Tony DeFranco returned to his hometown of Hague in 2010 to manage his family’s longtime landscaping business, his goal was not only to help homeowners and businesses beautify their properties but to protect Lake George while doing so.

Debbi Fishner and her granddaughter, Lucy

Neighbors Working Together for the Future of Lake George

Driven by a grandmother’s love, the nine homeowner members of the Boon Bay Association are showing just how much can be accomplished when practicing Lake protection on a bay-by-bay basis.

Jill and Tom Cunningham

Ticonderoga Residents Lend Helping Hands & Watchful Eyes to Protect Lake George

The future of Lake George is in our hands. Ticonderoga residents Jill and Tom Cunningham take that both literally and figuratively.

Town Supervisor John Strough

Queensbury Supervisor is Heart and Soul Behind Town’s Lake-Protection Accomplishments

The Town of Queensbury includes approximately 10% of the incredible Lake George shoreline. Town Supervisor John Strough gives 110% when it comes to Lake protection.

Scott and Jennifer Jacobs

Bolton Couple Installs a New Wastewater Treatment System In Their Home to Help Protect Lake George Water Quality

Scott and Jennifer Jacobs didn’t think twice when presented with the idea of replacing the antiquated cesspool at their 100-year-old “empty nester” home in the Town of Bolton with a small-scale wastewater treatment system … inside the house.

Barbara Simms sitting with lake as background

Barbara Simms: Partnering with Neighbors to Protect Dunhams Bay from Failing Septic Systems

Barbara Simms was so disturbed by underwater photographs of excessive algae growth in Dunhams Bay, she rallied her neighbors behind a Lake protection effort that resulted in the creation of a wastewater disposal district and led to the replacement of 21 aging septic systems in a four-year period.

Silver Bay leading by example

Silver Bay YMCA Conference & Family Retreat Center: Inspiring Guests in Environmental Stewardship, Leading by Example with Lake Protection

Recognizing the threat that improperly treated wastewater poses to Lake George, the not-for-profit Silver Bay YMCA Conference & Family Retreat Center voluntarily invested $3.5 million to replace its outdated 70-year-old septic system with a highly advanced wastewater treatment plant.

Arcady Bay Homeowners Association members

The Ingreys and The Goreliks: Leading Arcady Bay Neighbors in the Pursuit of Protection; Hoping Their Example Inspires Others, Bay-by-Bay

The Ingreys and Goreliks knew how much their neighbors in the close-knit Arcady Bay Homeowners Association care about Lake George. So they brought them all together for a show of support — and raised an extraordinary $200,000 for Lake protection.

Hannah & David Darrin multi-generational protectors of Lake George

David Darrin and Daughter, Hannah: Carrying on a Storied Family Legacy of Lake Protection

A simple Help Wanted ad, placed more than 40 years ago, helped launch one of the most generous, meaningful, and still-enduring displays of family philanthropy ever bestowed on Lake George.

Helen Froehlich leading by example

Helen Froehlich: Twenty Years of Life on Lake George Leads to Singular Legacy of Lake Protection

Helen Froehlich spent only 20 of her adventurous 91 years living on Lake George. But she gave the Lake a lifetime of love — and, in passing, left an incredible legacy of Lake protection.

Mayor Bob Blais leading by example

Mayor Bob Blais: Legendary Leader Protecting Lake George for Future Generations

As the longest-serving mayor in New York State history, Lake George Village Mayor Bob Blais has long been the foremost champion of the Queen of American Lakes. His crowning achievement: a $24 million state-of-the art wastewater treatment plant to replace the Depression-era facility that had been the predominant source of algae-causing nitrates to the Lake.

New York State Senator Betty Little leading by example

Senator Betty Little: Working Hard for Lake George in Albany and at Home for 34 Wonderfully Successful Years

As a teenager, Elizabeth “Betty” O’Connor always wanted to work summers on Lake George. As New York State Senator Betty (O’Connor) Little, she worked tirelessly year-round on behalf of the Lake to protect its incomparable water quality and the regional economy that depends on it.

Town of Lake George Supervisor, Dennis Dickinson

Lake George Supervisor Dennis Dickinson: A Proven Leader & Trusted Partner in Protecting Hometown Lake

As a Lake George native, business owner and long-time town supervisor, Dennis Dickinson has a keen understanding of how much the Lake means to the region’s quality of life and economy — and he’s been a leader in a wide array of Lake protection initiatives. Quite simply, he says, “You have to take care of the Lake.”

Town of Bolton Supervisor, Ron Conover

Supervisor Ron Conover & Town of Bolton: Protecting Lake George With Woodchips

Ron Conover can’t see one of the biggest accomplishments of his tenure as Bolton Town Supervisor. But he knows it’s there — by the major reductions he sees in algae-causing nitrates heading toward Lake George from the town’s wastewater treatment thanks to an innovative woodchip bioreactor buried beneath the soil.

Highway crews from Warren County and the towns of Hague and Lake George

Warren County, Town of Lake George & Town of Hague: Protecting the Lake Through High-tech Road Salt Reduction

They’re the first three municipalities in North America to earn the Sustainable Winter Management Program (SWiM®) certification — and their hard work has paid off, as they’ve dramatically and safely reduced their use of winter road salt and minimized the amount of harmful chlorides entering Lake George.

Kathy Flacke Muncil

Kathy Flacke Muncil: Leading the Business of Lake Protection

As CEO of one of the Lake George Region’s iconic hospitality businesses, the Fort William Henry Corp., Kathy Flacke Muncil is committed to enduring Lake protection — and ensuring that the rest of the regional business community is standing with her. She’s the founding Chair of the LGA’s Council of Business Advisors.

Mike Kelly seen with Lake George on the background

Mike Kelly: IBM Engineer Puts Technological Expertise & Love of Lake George to Work for The Jefferson Project

Four decades after spending childhood summers admiring Lake George from his grandfather’s Assembly Point property, Mike Kelly is one of the lead scientists and technologists on The Jefferson Project, protecting the Lake from its greatest water quality threats.

Dr. Jim Sutherland, water quality research scientist with New York State

Dr. Jim Sutherland: “The Father of Lake George Hydrology” Teams with The FUND & Waterkeeper for Enduring Lake Protection

In a 25-year career as a water quality research scientist with New York State, and now as a consultant to the LGA, Jim Sutherland has conducted some of the most meaningful research ever on the threats facing the Queen of American Lakes. Some call him “The Father of Lake George Hydrology.

Tim Shudt standing at the Village of Lake George Treatment Plant

Tim Shudt: Treatment Plant Operator Keenly Focused on Treating Lake George Right

Tim Shudt oversaw the creation of the Village of Lake George’s new state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant from conception through construction. “It’s Lake George,” he says. “It deserves the best technology and design.”

Ed Bartholomew in front of a yellow wall

In Memory of Ed Bartholomew: Bridge Builder, Lake Protector, FUND Advisor and Friend

When it came to Lake George, the late Ed Bartholomew understood like few others that the environment and economy are two sides of the same coin. He valued both sides dearly and worked tirelessly to protect them.

Marc Yrsha of Glens Falls National Bank and Matt Harrison of Adirondack Trust, leading by example to protect Lake George

Adirondack Trust and Glens Falls National Bank: Lending a Hand to Protect Lake George from Outdated Septic Systems

By offering no-interest and low-interest loans for septic system replacements in the Lake George Basin, Adirondack Trust Company and Glens Falls National Bank and Trust Company are showing what it means to be invested in the local community.

Paul Vanderzon with a snow plow in the background

Paul Vanderzon & Metal Pless Plows: Helping Local Highway Crews Keep Snow off the Roads and Salt Out of the Lake

Paul Vanderzon has been cleaning up snow and ice from roads and driveways since he was 12 years old. But as a key partner in the Lake George Road Salt Reduction Initiative with his employer, snow plow manufacturer and innovator Metal Pless, Paul takes a special pride in the role he’s played keeping roads around the Lake safe while keeping harmful salt out of the water