The Lake George Waterkeeper program has been an integral part of The FUND for Lake George’s science-to-solutions protection strategy since 2002.
The mission of the Lake George Waterkeeper is to defend the natural resources of Lake George and its watershed by promoting compliance with existing laws, supporting scientific research, and upholding sound engineering principles that provide for the continuing protection of the Lake and the common good of the community.
Your Waterkeeper In Action
Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky combines professional engineering expertise and extensive water quality monitoring and analysis with strategic science-based advocacy to assist The FUND in developing effective solutions to the greatest challenges facing the Lake and build strong public and private partnerships supporting these solutions.
Watershed Monitoring, Assessment & Action
The Waterkeeper documents changes in water quality across the watershed by monitoring chemical, physical, and biological conditions of the streams that feed the Lake. He also studies underwater changes, including algal growth and other possible indicators of declining ecosystem health.
The Waterkeeper’s research has helped inform and guide the development of a number of The FUND’s groundbreaking science-to-solutions protection programs, including:
- Lake George Road Salt Reduction Initiative
- Lake George Safe Septic Systems Program
- Low Impact Development Certification System
The Waterkeeper’s applied scientific research and reporting have played pivotal roles in the replacement of the Village of Lake George wastewater treatment plant, construction of a state-of-the-art, nitrate removing woodchip bioreactor at the Town of Bolton wastewater treatment plant, and a matching grant program for septic system upgrades and replacements, all with a goal of reducing the flow of excess nutrients and contaminants into the Lake.
Breakthrough research of the Waterkeeper documenting how particular species of algae found in near-shore areas can help to identify and prioritize pollutant sources has fueled two major water quality initiatives in the Lake George watershed: a septic system replacement program at Dunhams Bay in the Town of Queensbury; and a septic system prioritization and remedial action plan in the Town of Lake George. This work also earned Chris the prestigious Linn H. Enslow Memorial Award from the non-profit New York Water Environment Association (NYWEA), a statewide organization of leaders in water quality management.
Land Use Review & Compliance
Even the best designed project can result in harmful impacts to Lake George if there is poor construction or lack of oversight. The Waterkeeper maintains a close watch on development projects throughout the Lake’s basin to determine the potential for negative impacts to Lake George and its water quality.
Technical reviews are performed to evaluate compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and to make recommendations for minimizing impacts. Working with municipal leaders, this includes advocating for implementation of Low Impact Development (LID) practices.
Outreach & Advocacy
Protecting Lake George and its watershed requires informed and involved stakeholders from all walks of life, including property owners, government officials, developers and other businesses.
Using science and technology to document concerns throughout the basin, the Waterkeeper educates stakeholders with special reports, community events, and professional level educational seminars. All of this outreach focuses on how human uses may affect water quality and the common-sense solutions that can protect the Lake.