It's the magnet that draws many of us here: our precious lake. But without an army of volunteers, elected officials and paid professionals, it may not be around for future generations. Many topics about how to preserve our lake, and the surrounding watershed were covered at the Annual Schroon Lake Association meeting last week. Here is a recap from the Association's press release:
Schroon Lake Association Holds Annual Meeting and Elects Officers
The Schroon Lake Central School Auditorium hosted 85 folks as the Schroon Lake Association held its annual meeting, Friday night. The audience was treated to an in-depth discussion on the state of the Town and its watershed. SLA President, Mark Granger led off with a report on the organization’ activities including running the Adirondacks busiest roadside Decontamination Station with the Paradox Lake Association. The station is located on Route 74 in Severance and has cleaned over 125 boats - capturing and eliminating invasives such as zebra mussels, milfoil and water chestnuts.
The SLA, PLA and the Town of Schroon have obtained a $10,000 grant from Cloudsplitter Foundation which will cover roughly one-third of the cost of the Decon Station’s operation this year. Other efforts include operation of boat launch operations on Schroon and Paradox where Lake Stewards watch for and stop boats from entering the watershed with invasives on them.
Mark also reviewed the SLA events such as the 49th Annual Craft Fair and the Hobie Cat Regatta as well as increased efforts for public education on threats to the health of the watershed. Town Supervisor Mike Marnell outlined the Town’s efforts to control storm water runoff and the operation of the town’s sewer system which needs to expand to help protect the watershed.
SLA VP and Town Board Member Roger Friedman praised SLA’s Boat Launch and Decon Station Stewards and cited the Town’s long support and involvement with the SLA in fighting invasives and pollution. A parade of environmental experts followed, outlining what has been done this year to preserve and protect the lake and watershed. Dave Reckhan, head of Essex County Soil and Water discussed efforts to preserve the sandy banks of the Schroon River and to reduce the silting of the Lake. Warren County Soil and Water’s Nick Rowell and Bob Bombard talked about their efforts to locate Eurasian milfoil and other invasives in the lake and to arrange for its removal.
Lake Manager Steve LaMere discussed his 25 years of work on Schroon Lake and the current programs to check for bacteria, algae and chemical pollutants. Repeated testing has shown no substantial increase in contaminants but heavy risks continue. The current verdict is that the watershed is "very healthy", but dangers lurk all around and increased vigilance and testing is necessary. All the experts praised the SLA’s and the Town’s efforts in preventing spread of invasives and monitoring for early signs of pollution. The lake remains “AA potable,” but it will only remain so with increased efforts.
The Annual Meeting also included the election of officers for two year terms and 1/3 of the Directors as follows: President: Mark Granger; Vice Presidents: Roger Friedman, Glen Repko; Treasurer: Pete Seagle; Corresponding Secretary: John Fear; Recording Secretary: Neil Chippendale. New Board Members elected to 3 year terms: Ginny Kern, Susan Palisano, Alan Press and Matt Curren.