More Boat-Washing Stations in the Adirondacks Help Boaters and the Environment

Tuesday, June 16, 2015
By: John F. Sheehan - Adirondack Council Communications Director

Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/images/Kayakers_small.jpgSummer is almost here and you’re probably planning a trip to the Adirondack Park. If you’re like me, you can’t wait to get out on the open water in your canoe, kayak or motorboat. Thankfully, the Park has a massive network of lakes and rivers that boaters from all over North America can enjoy. 

However, without even knowing it, some boaters bring hitchhikers with them in the form of alien aquatic plants and animals. These invasive species can alter and harm the Adirondack Park’s water quality, as well as native plants and wildlife.

Thankfully, boaters who want to have some fun on the Park’s lakes and rivers can also protect them from unwanted visitors. Due to some crucial regional cooperation and a special grant from the NYS Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), an Adirondack Park-wide boat inspection and decontamination plan was created. Now, there are more boat-washing stations throughout that Park where boats and trailers can be inspected for invasive species and cleaned before launching into the water.

Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/images/Martens speaking_small.jpg
DEC Commissioner Joe Martens at a new boat-washing station.

These stations will help stop the spread of invasives throughout the Adirondack Park, which still has relatively few of the aggressive, non-native species causing harm in other areas of New York.  Local lake associations and local government officials are backing the inspection and decontamination program. After years of them spending millions of dollars to try to eradicate invasive species in local lakes, it has become clear that prevention is in everyone’s best interest.

The new boat washing stations are located along major thoroughfares, and close to popular public boat launches where people with trailer-borne boats can easily find them.  Also, there will be 14 stewards staffed by the Adirondack Watershed Institute at Paul Smith’s College who are assigned to boat launches and are trained to spot and remove invasives and collect data.

According to the folks at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the following are new boat inspection and decontamination sites:

Open Now:

  • Town of Lake Pleasant, Hamilton County: NYS Route 30/8 Department of Transportation (DOT) pull-off south of Speculator. 
  • Town of Northampton, Fulton County: Great Sacandaga Lake, DEC Boat Launch, NYS Route 30 in Northville.
  • Town of Ellenburg, Clinton County: Chateaugay Lake, DEC Boat Launch.
  • Town of Webb, Herkimer County: NYS Route 28, DOT pull-off for Okara Lakes.Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/Invasives Blog/Tangled_prop_w milfoil_small.jpg
  • Towns of Clifton/Fine, St. Lawrence County: Intersection of NYS Route 3 and County Route 60 east of Star Lake.
  • Town of Horicon, Warren County: Schroon Lake, DEC Boat Launch.
  • Town Brighton, Franklin County: Intersection of NYS Route 30 & 86 across from Paul Smith’s College.

Newly Opened or Opening Soon:

  • Village of Saranac Lake, Franklin County: Municipal property next to Lake Flower boat launch.               
  • Town of Saranac, Clinton County: NYS Route 3 in Cadyville or Saranac.
  • Town of Colton, St. Lawrence County: NYS Route 56 pull-off south of Colton.
  • Town of Tupper Lake, Franklin County: DEC Boat Launch.
  • Town of Arietta, Hamilton County: NYS Route 8 in Piseco Lake.

Currently, the only mandatory inspection and decontamination of boats and trailers are on Lake George or Loon Lake in Warren County. If you are headed to Lake George, click HERE to find a convenient inspection station near your destination. If you are heading to Loon Lake, both the public launch and the marina are equipped to get you ready to get on to the water.

I hope you are able to get out and enjoy the Adirondack Park this summer. Just remember to protect your Park from unwanted visitors! Make sure you inspect and wash your boat before you get on the water.


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Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/john-f-sheehan.jpg

Born and raised in Troy, NY, John Sheehan is a graduate of Catholic Central High School and the State University at Albany (1985; BA). Before joining the Council's staff in 1990, John was the managing editor of the Malone Evening Telegram, just north of the Adirondack Park. Prior to that, he worked as journalist for the Troy Record, (Schenectady) Daily Gazette, Watertown Daily Times and Newsday.

For the past 25 years, John has been the voice of the Adirondack Council on radio and television, and on the pages of local, regional and national media. Sheehan has overseen the production of two films about the Council (The Adirondack Council, 1992; and, ACID RAIN: A Continuing National Tragedy, 1998), appeared in the independent film Inside the Blue Line (1993) and has produced a series of radio and television public service announcements with entertainers Bonnie Raitt (1994), Natalie Merchant (1997) and brothers/band mates Michael and Kevin Bacon (2009-10).

John is a regular guest lecturer at several New York colleges and universities, including Colgate University, Hobart & William Smith College, Hamilton College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Union College, Siena College, SUNY Albany, SUNY Binghamton, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (Syracuse), and SUNY Potsdam. He has also addressed dozens of local organizations including local Rotary and Kiwanis clubs and chambers of commerce, scientific societies and community forums.

John and his wife Deborah live in Albany and are seasonal residents of the Adirondack Park. Their daughter Hannah attends Albany public schools.

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