New York: New Program to Protect Adirondack's Waterways

NEW YORK - The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is expanding its partnership with Paul Smith's College's Adirondack Institute Stewardship Program to protect the Adirondacks against Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) through boat stewards and decontamination stations.

"This valuable partnership with Paul Smith's College is an important step in Governor Cuomo's ongoing efforts to preserve the Adirondacks' vast waterways from aquatic invasive species and AIS' potential harm to the environment, human health and the economy of the region," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said.

The new program is funded through New York's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and will cost $1.4 million.

According to the New York DEC, this partnership will place 53 boat stewards and decontamination operators at 28 different sites throughout the Adirondacks. 

The stewards will be hired and trained by Paul Smith's College to be on the lookout for AIS and will teach boaters how to recognize signs of possible invasive threats. Stewards will also clean boats that were last used in AIS high-risk areas and have not been cleaned and drained properly.

Stewards will be at sites Thursday to Monday from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day for the peak recreational boating season.

"We are honored to be a critical part of New York's response to our communities by the overland transport of aquatic invasives on recreational watercraft," said Dr. Eric Holmlund, the director of the Adirondack Watershed Institute Stewardship Program.

"The Adirondack program represents the convergence of vision, community involvement and strategically placed resources to save the highest quality waters in the state. We hope our friendly and diligent lake stewards help people to keep their watercraft clean, drained and dry whether an inspector is present or not," continued Dr. Holmlund.

The New York DEC encourages boaters to follow the Clean, Drain and Dry approach to ensure no plants or animals are clinging to their boats or equipment.


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