A Strong and Dedicated Voice for the Protection of Lake George
The FUND for Lake George initiated the Lake George Waterkeeper program in 2002 to address declining trends in water quality from such threats as poor land use and development practices and inconsistent enforcement. The Lake George Waterkeeper is the 85th organization licensed by the Waterkeeper Alliance, a national entity that provides communities with the tools to advocate for their right to clean water and the wise and equitable use of water resources. The success of the Waterkeeper model is its “bottom up” approach – each Waterkeeper is responsible for being the spokesperson for their particular watershed and determining the best approaches for protection.
“Lake George Waterkeeper is the most effective protector of the Queen of the American Lakes… Waterkeeper Alliance congratulates Lake George Waterkeeper on 10 years of success.”
- Marc Yaggi, Executive Director, Waterkeeper Alliance
Your Waterkeeper In action
By empowering citizens and improving defensive efforts relating to stormwater runoff, wastewater treatment, imprudent development, invasive species and resources protection, the Lake George Waterkeeper serves as a voice for the Lake and its surrounding communities in the following ways:
The Waterkeeper reviews every meeting agenda and public notice to gauge the potential for negative impacts to Lake George and its water quality. We perform technical reviews to evaluate compliance with applicable laws and regulations. We make recommendations to minimize impacts in presentations to local review boards and decision makers.
Even the best designed project can result in harmful impacts to Lake George if there is poor construction or oversight. The Waterkeeper maintains a presence in the field to observe compliance with approved plans and to respond to citizen inquiries about observed actions. We document compliance concerns and notify the appropriate agencies.
Despite our efforts to assure compliance with existing laws and regulations, activities may be approved that are against the law. The negative precedents set when this occurs can have negative impacts on Lake George and its water quality. In these cases, the Waterkeeper is willing to partner with affected community members to challenge such actions in court.
In protecting Lake George and its water quality, the Waterkeeper relies on the use of scientific data, engineering principles and field observation. Much of our advocacy requires informing and educating elected officials, members of review boards, and the public about how their actions may affect water quality. In addition to public comments, we employ our website, special reports and e-news to inform the public of how they can become involved to protect Lake George.
Protecting and preserving Lake George requires informed and involved stakeholders. Using science and technology to document concerns throughout the basin, we educate and inform with publications, community events, and professional level educational seminars. The Waterkeeper offers property owners, developers, boaters and agencies involved, science-based, common sense options to protect our precious natural resources.
Watershed Monitoring & Assessment
We can learn a great deal about changes in our watershed by taking the time to observe and document the signs. The Waterkeeper documents changes by monitoring chemical, physical and biological components of the streams that feed the lake. We also observe underwater changes including algal growth and other possible indicators of declining water quality.
“Lake George has been a part of my family’s history for five generations. We’ve always been proud to say the water is “still clean enough to drink when you swim.” There’s much work to be done and we all need to be aware of how we can help battle but the Lake George Waterkeeper is the first line of defense in this battle.”
- Lee Woodruff, Author & Silver Bay Summer Resident