Lake George Waterkeeper Earns Environmental Award

The Saratogian

Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky has earned a statewide award for his work studying algae near the lake shore to identify and prioritize pollution sources.

Waterkeeper is a program of The Fund for Lake George.

Navitsky was to be presented with the Linn H. Enslow Memorial Award from the non-profit New York Water Environment Association, a statewide organization of leaders in water quality management, at the group’s annual meeting on Feb. 6, in New York City.

The Enslow award recognizes an individual outside of the association’s membership for an outstanding technical paper presented at an association conference and/or published in a professionally recognized trade journal.

Navitsky is being honored for his presentation, “Algal Biomonitoring Documenting Water Quality Impacts on Lake George,” at the association’s 2018 spring meeting.

The Lake George region has a tremendous resource in Chris Navitsky,” said Eric Siy, executive director of The Fund for Lake George. “The work Chris does on a daily basis to identify and address the risks to the lake’s water quality are making a real difference today and for future generations. To have Chris recognized by his peers from across the state attests to the importance of this work.”

As Lake George Waterkeeper, Navitsky develops and implements programs that use an engineering- and science-based approach to protect the natural resources of the lake and its surrounding basin for the benefit of the watershed and the community.

Sources of organic pollution are contributing excessive nutrients to ground water and surface waters resulting in impacts to water quality, decreased clarity and increased algal growth, with the potential for toxic conditions,” Navitsky said.

His award-winning presentation documented how the types of algae found in near-shore areas can help elected officials and residents understand the impacts of nutrients in the lake and develop prioritized management plans.

This type of biomonitoring has been applied on Lake George in two major water quality initiatives. They are:

• Measuring improvements from the addition of an onsite wastewater treatment system and septic system replacement program at Dunham’s Bay in the Town of Queensbury

• And as part of the creation of a GIS-based algorithm to develop a prioritization map identifying those areas of the Town of Lake George in need of remedial action to protect the lake from septic system contamination.

Navitsky was named Lake George Waterkeeper by The Fund in 2002, and is one of more than 300 members of the Waterkeeper Alliance worldwide.

In 2005, he was named Conservationist of the Year by the Adirondack Council. Prior to joining The Fund, Navitsky worked for 16 years as a consulting engineer focused on site development and municipal engineering with strengths in wastewater design, stormwater management and erosion control.

He is a graduate of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse University, and a licensed engineer in New York and Pennsylvania. Navitsky lives on Sabbath Day Point in Silver Bay with his wife and 11-year-old daughter.

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