It’s inevitable that harsh winters in Upstate New York bring snow, sleet, and ice, requiring measures to be taken to make the roads safe for driving. One of the most common solutions is salt, which helps melt the ice and keep roads clear.
Unfortunately, when it is used near Lake George, the salt washes into the water and the vegetation on the shore
, negatively impacting the lake’s health. In fact, a recent study has found that over the past generation, salt levels in the lake have tripled
and are “more than 30 times higher than those in undeveloped Adirondack lakes.” In response to this startling fact, The S.A.V.E. Lake George Partnership is calling for road salt reductions beginning next winter
S.A.V.E. has examined annual purchasing records of road salt and has found a dramatic growth trend since 1973. The goal is to curb salt purchasing next winter and reduce its use to a level that keeps roads safe without causing further harm to the lake.
To achieve this, S.A.V.E. has created a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) about the matter and will be circulating it among public officials. The goal of the MOU is to “achieve road salt reductions that, through scientific monitoring, are shown to benefit the biological, physical, and chemical conditions of Lake George.”
A “Road Salt Summit” is in the works for this fall and would give involved parties the opportunity to explore new technologies and road management practices that could reduce the use of road salt. S.A.V.E. has been successful in implementing measures to prevent invasive species from entering Lake George, and the group’s recent actions against road salt are an extension of its mission to protect the lake.