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Kristen Rohne, an educator with the Lake George Association, sieves for Asian clams during a lakewide survey completed in September 2012. Photo: Emily DeBolt, Lake George Association
Kristen Rohne, an educator with the Lake George Association, sieves for Asian clams during a lakewide survey completed in September 2012. Photo: Emily DeBolt, Lake George Association

NY commmits new money to stop Lake George invasives

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State Environment Commissioner Joe Martens was in in the North Country on Friday, unveiling $250,000 in new funds to help stop invasive species from reaching Lake George.

The money will go to help a local coalition pay for boat washing and inspection stations around the lake.

"We were able to tease out $250,000 extra for Lake George," Martens said.

"Depending on what the outcome is of this last fall's and next spring's program on the lake, we'll go back and see if we can't dedicate more funds to it."

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DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. Photo: Matt Ryan for Innovation Trail
DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. Photo: Matt Ryan for Innovation Trail
Communities on the shore of Lake George are already battling to contain two new invasive species, Asian clams and the spiny water flea, that likely entered the lake on boats or fishing gear.

Lake George Park Commission head Dave Wick says invasive species have the potential to do enormous harm to one of the region's most pristine lakes.

"Take a look at knotweed," Wick said. "Japanese knotweed has taken over every stream corridor in the town of Bolton, the town of Hague, and has excluded all other species. So from my perspective, that's where a species becomes invasive is when it really impacts the ecology."

Lake George is lucky...there's not a lot of lakes that have the wealth available to address problems like this.
The DEC has faced criticism for not moving faster to battle invasive species. Speaking on Friday, Martens said the state doesn't have the money to tackle the problem alone.

"It's going to be local governments, state governments, and non-profits [working together]," Martens said. 

"Lake George is lucky in that it's got the Fund for Lake George. There's not a lot of lakes that have the wealth available to address problems like this."

For the first time this summer, the state-run Lake George Park Commission will have the authority to write tickets to boat-owners whose craft are found carrying invasive species.

Reporter Jon Alexander contributed to today's broadcast, courtesy of the Glens Falls Post Star.  For more of his reporting, go to poststar.com.

 

 

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