Press Releases

Conservation Group Urges Boaters to Use New Washing Station

State Opens New, Free Boat Decontamination Facility at Rest Area North of Exit 17

QUEENSBURY, N.Y. – The Adirondack Council today called on boaters who bring their watercraft into the Adirondack Park on I-87 to stop at the free, voluntary decontamination station opened today by the state and its partners in the battle to keep aquatic invasive species out of Lake George.

The organization also renewed its call for the Legislature to make decontamination mandatory in the Adirondacks. The new Northway decontamination station is located at the new Adirondack Welcome Center rest area, just north of Exit 17 in Warren County.

“Regardless of where you are heading, anyone who brings a boat up the Northway should stop at the new rest area and make sure they aren’t carrying unwanted passengers, such as non-native plants and animals that rapidly harm and change a native ecosystem,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway.  “It only takes a few minutes, and it’s free. But it will make a huge difference to our lakes and rivers. Most of them don’t have invasive species in them, yet. We’d like to keep it that way.”

Making sure a boat and trailer are clean, drained and dry when they reach a new destination is not just the right thing to do, it is the law, Janeway noted. That law, however, is due to expire at the end of May.

“We need a network of decontamination stations like this one at all of the entrances to the park,” Janeway said.  “It isn’t practical to put them on all 11,000 lakes and ponds, or even at all river-based boat launches in a park with 30,000 miles of rivers, brooks and streams. But we can create a network of stations at convenient, roadside locations throughout the park, and just outside of the park.”

Janeway noted that boaters heading to Lake George or Loon Lake will be required to decontaminate their vessels before launching. They can do that at the new station, or wait until they get to the lake. 

“We want to emphasize the need for those boaters who are heading to other destinations to make the stop and get their boats cleaned first,” Janeway said. “If you have used your boat anywhere other than the lake you are entering, it should be cleaned thoroughly beforehand. It’s free. It’s easy. And for another week, at least, it’s the law.”

Janeway noted that some invasive plants and animals are too tiny to see. The only way to be sure they are removed is the application of hot water in all water intakes and the use of a pressure washer on the hull and trailer. The whole process takes only a few minutes.

            “You’ll be done and back on the road in a jiffy, ready to enjoy the Adirondacks without worrying that you are introducing a harmful, new species to the waters you came to enjoy,” Janeway said.

            The new Northway decontamination station was opened today at a ceremony held by the NYS Depts. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Transportation (DOT). They were joined by local officials and partners including Sen. Elizabeth Little, R-Queensbury, and reps from Paul Smith's College Adirondack Watershed Institute; The Nature Conservancy, ADK Chapter; The FUND for Lake George; Lake George Park Commission; and, the Lake George Association.

The Adirondack Council is a privately funded not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the ecological integrity and wild character of the Adirondack Park.  The Council envisions a Park with clean water and clean air, comprised of core wilderness areas, surrounded by farms and working forests, as well as vibrant communities. 

The Adirondack Council carries out its mission through research, education, advocacy and legal action to ensure the legacy of the Adirondack Park is safeguarded for future generations.  Adirondack Council members live in all 50 United States.

 

For more information:

John Sheehan, Adirondack Council, 518-441-1340 cell

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, May 23, 2019

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