Joining Forces for Greater Protection of Lake George

March 11, 2021

This announcement was published prior to the merger of the LGA with The FUND for Lake George in June 2021.

Boards of Lake George Association and The FUND for Lake George Announce Plan to Merge and Create Preeminent Lake Protection Organization

With unprecedented threats confronting Lake George’s legendary water quality, the Lake George Association (LGA) and The FUND for Lake George are responding decisively — by joining forces.

Heralding a new era in Lake George protection, the boards of the LGA and The FUND today announced a plan to merge the two organizations, creating a single, preeminent protector for the Queen of American Lakes.

The new entity will retain the LGA name. The boards of both organizations have unanimously endorsed the merger and the LGA will now bring the proposal to its members for approval. The LGA is the oldest lake protection organization in the country, having been founded in 1885. The FUND for Lake George was part of the LGA until 1980. Additional information about the plan can be found at https://lakegeorgeassociation.org

Leaders of the two organizations said “science-guided action” will be the new LGA’s foremost imperative, marshaling their respective strengths and resources to achieve breakthrough performance in water quality protection programs, public awareness and education campaigns, and advocacy for effective public policies protecting Lake George water quality.

Protection programs will focus on the Lake’s most pressing threats: harmful algal blooms; nutrient loading from wastewater and stormwater runoff; invasive species, both aquatic and the new terrestrial threat, hemlock wooly adelgid; and road salt contamination — all compounded by the effects of a changing climate. Mounting pressure on the Lake’s water quality was a driving factor in bringing the two organizations together.

“This is about unity and action to protect Lake George,” said Peter Menzies, president of the Lake George Association. “The environmental threats to the Lake are increasing, and we will do more to protect it together. This merger is the right thing to do. Lake George’s unique beauty and spectacular quality deserve nothing less than the exceptional stewardship that this organization will provide.”

“We have one beautiful and beloved Lake, and now we will have one voice and one powerful force for action to protect it,” said Jeff Killeen, chairman of The FUND. “Together, we provide an unmatched constellation of assets, resources and experts — the LGA, The FUND, the Lake George Waterkeeper, the Jefferson Project collaboration with IBM Research and RPI, and our many community partners, including property owners, local government officials and the Lake George business community — all with a shared vision of enduring protection.”

The new organization will be led by a board of directors selected from the current members of the boards of the LGA and The FUND. Mr. Killeen will chair the new organization, with Mr. Menzies as vice chair. Eric Siy, currently executive director of The FUND for Lake George, will become president of the LGA. Walt Lender, currently executive director of the Lake George Association, will serve as senior vice president.

“The reunification of these two strong organizations will provide our donors and members with a single, results-driven Lake George Association with which they can partner to protect the Lake — an organization that, through its combined resources and strategic focus, will substantially strengthen those investments in protecting Lake George for today and for future generations,” said Mr. Killeen.

“The science-guided commitment of this bold new organization is powerful enough to take on the increasingly complex threats to our Lake,” said Mr. Siy. “Together, we will harness our world-class scientific and programmatic expertise to not only succeed in safeguarding Lake George, but to serve as a much-needed model for the protection of freshwater everywhere.”

“This is a historic moment for Lake George, for everyone who lives and works on the Lake, and for everyone who flocks to its shores for recreation and relaxation,” said Mr. Lender. “Lake George is better protected with the Lake George Association and The FUND together. In doing so, we uphold and carry forward a proud legacy of Lake protection.”

Members of the Lake George Association will receive an informational packet about the proposed merger, along with a ballot for voting on the measure, via U.S. Mail and/or email.