The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Lake George Park Commission have announced a strategic plan to address invasive species in Lake George. But critics say the policies won’t help the invasives fight.
The DEC and the Park Commission will provide 50-thousand dollars to expand by two months a boat steward program. They will also develop and implement an outreach program for boaters and increase patrols by officers trained in aquatic invasive spread prevention. 200-thousand dollars from the state Environmental Protection Fund will be used to contain and prevent the spread of Asian Clam and other aquatic invasives. The Park Commission and the DEC will also develop an environmental review, which must be completed before any mandatory boat washing or inspections could be implemented. Lake George Park Commission Executive Director Dave Wick.
But Lake George Water Keeper Chris Nativsky is disheartened. He says it appears the decision-making ability of the Lake George Park Commission has been circumvented by the DEC.
Protect the Adirondacks was among a group of organizations that earlier this month asked the Governor and the DEC to take strong action to stop the spread of aquatic invasives and implement mandatory boat inspections on Lake George. Protect Executive Director Peter Bauer is also not impressed with this agreement.
New York State DEC Executive Deputy Commissioner Mark Gerstman says what they are doing is a two step process and they will look at the long term implications through the environmental review process.
All the stakeholders emphasize that the current best practice for preventing the spread of aquatic invasives is to inspect and clean boats and recreation gear before entering water bodies.