As part of the statewide effort to reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species in New York’s waterways, the Environmental Protection Fund recently awarded more than $2 million in grants to two dozen relevant projects, including planned efforts by The Lake George Association.
The municipalities, not-for-profits, and higher educational programs that received the EPF’s awards work to combat the spread of aquatic invasive species. The initiative has given support to projects from the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes that seek to provide uniform training for and strategic placement of boat stewards, and installation of decontamination stations.
The individual projects received amounts ranging from $36,000 to $100,000 to enrich current programs and add new ones to encourage further prevention. The Lake George Association’s award amounted to almost $80,000 dollars, and a 25% match is required with these particular grants.
Other recipients of EPF grants include The Nature Conservancy, Cornell University, The Keuka Lake Association, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater Inc., Town of Caroga, Town of Long Lake, Town of Lake Pleasant, and the Black Lake Association, Inc.
In an interview with The Post Star, LGA Spokesperson Pat Dowd stated that the money will be used to cover the costs of placing lake stewards at the Hague town launch and the Putnam town-owned launch at Gull Bay. These stewards will check for boat inspection seals and will make sure all boats are clean, drained, and dry when they exit the lake.
Lake George’s two year pilot Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program proved to be a resounding success, catching almost 100 invasive species on boats before they entered the lake in 2015 and more than 140 in 2014. The new grant money ensures that more efforts can be made to reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species and secure the health of local waterways.
“New York State is home to unparalleled natural beauty and we must do everything we can to protect it from invasive aquatic predators,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “This money will help safeguard lakes and rivers in every corner of this state, protect local ecosystems, and ensure that visitors can experience New York’s natural beauty and wonders for years to come.”