Preliminary Findings of The Jefferson Project Released in Fund for Lake George Annual Meeting

August 16, 2014 
Christina Scanlon
 

More than 30 years of water monitoring results and the last year’s preliminary findings of The Jefferson Project were released Saturday, detailing the good, the bad and a hopeful future for Lake George.

The Legacy Strategy for Lake George,” according to FUND for Lake George chairman Jeff Killeen, “can be summed up in these 18 words: Stopping the present decline of water quality and achieving sustained protection of Lake George for the generations ahead.”

The data provided by Dr. Jeffrey Short, Oceana’s Pacific Science Director, in the annual Fund for Lake George meeting, shows areas of concern, such as the tripling of salt concentration from 1980 to 2009. Though the effect that salt may have on the future functioning of the lake is unclear. Decreasing the amount of salt that ends up in the water may be an easy fix by being “judicious about salt application,” he said.

Other concerns, Short shared during the release of the study with the nearly 200 people gathered Saturday morning at the Sagamore resort included the increase of blue-green algae caused by the introduction of rainbow smelt 100 years ago, which by the 1970s had established a self-sustaining population, may not be so easily remedied.

Attendants at the release got a sneak-peek at a video produced through The Jefferson Project, a collaboration with The FUND for Lake George, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and IBM Research. Mapping of the lake bottom was performed using high-tech sonar equipment, stormwater runoff, and affects of wind and weather on the lake were also monitored during the project.

Distinguished Engineer Harry Kolar from IBM Research, associate director of the Jefferson Project, said a number of new data collection sites will be implemented soon that include weather stations along the shoreline, profiling buoys, acoustic sensors and sampling carousels for lab analysis.

The full 72-page report can be seen at www.fundforlakegeorge.org/stateofthelake.

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