Invasives beware: watershed stewards expanding their presence - 2011-05-26
INVASIVES BEWARE: WATERSHED STEWARDS EXPANDING THEIR PRESENCE
Grant helping Paul Smith’s College nearly quadruple force of stewards this summer
CONTACT: Kenneth Aaron, Director of Communications
email@example.com / (518) 327-6297
PAUL SMITHS – The Watershed Stewardship Program at Paul Smith’s College will nearly quadruple the size of its workforce this summer, thanks to a $224,000 federal grant.
The award, from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, will help the college protect three major recreational areas: Saratoga Lake; the Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake region; and the Fulton Chain of Lakes in the Old Forge area.
The steward program, which is part of the college’s Adirondack Watershed Institute, is new to the Fulton Chain region.
When monitors return to boat launches and docks on Memorial Day weekend, there will be 27 of them looking for invasive plants and animals, up from seven last year. The stewards will remain on duty through Labor Day. The program is expanding coverage to seven new lakes or lake chains, while continuing coverage at an additional seven.
Stewards inspect boats, canoes, kayaks and other craft entering and exiting the water to ensure that invasive species such as Eurasian watermilfoil or spiny waterflea are not clinging to the vessels. The inspections are voluntary.
Aquatic invasive species are a growing threat in the Adirondacks and beyond, making such inspections increasingly important. When invasives take hold in a body of water, they can displace native species and rapidly multiply, making waterways impassible and hurting tourism and other industries.
“In most cases, you can never truly eradicate invasives once you get them—you can just manage them,” said Eric Holmlund, Ph.D., director of the Watershed Stewardship Program. “That’s why we must emphasize preventing the transport of aquatic invasives in the first place. This grant gives us a big boost in trying to keep unaffected waters clean, and teaching people how they can inspect and clean their own boats before they ever get to a boat launch.”
Where will stewards be stationed?
Fulton Chain of Lakes
St. Regis Canoe Area
Upper St. Regis Lake
About Paul Smith’s College
At Paul Smith’s College, it’s about the experience. Our programs, in fields including hospitality, culinary arts, forestry, natural resources, entrepreneurship and the sciences, draw on industries and resources available in our own backyard while preparing students for successful careers anywhere.