December 3, 2013 - Today’s adoption of two resolutions by the Lake George Park Commission drew support from
the S.A.V.E. Lake George Partnership, a diverse constituency formed late last year to ensure the
“strongest possible invasives prevention program at the earliest possible date.” The
Commission approved draft regulations for the mandatory invasives inspection program and
modified the draft final Environmental Impact Statement to provide for closing the “after hours
loophole,” a widely acknowledged concern. The EIS details provisions of the mandatory
S.A.V.E. Chairman and Lake George Village Mayor Bob Blais expressed the importance of today’s
actions, reminding the Commission of S.A.V.E.’s longstanding pledge to provide matching
support for the program’s implementation in 2014. As stated by Mayor Blais, “With today’s
votes, the Commission has moved us a big step closer to saving our lake from the fast spreading
scourge of invasives while we still have the chance.”
The Mayor went on to underscore the importance of providing around the clock protection if
the program is to succeed. In particular, the Mayor cited the need to close the after hours
loophole that would leave public launches open when unstaffed and vulnerable to boats being
launched without first being inspected and, if necessary, decontaminated.
In fact, as reiterated by Mayor Blais, S.A.V.E.’s stated intent to fund half the program hinges on
closing the after hours loophole. S.A.V.E. has proposed that the final prevention program
include “launch monitors” charged with keeping watch on public launches during those late
night and early morning hours when inspection and decontamination will not be available.
S.A.V.E. has formally pledged to pay for this essential provision. Today’s action provides the
necessary footing to make monitors integral to the invasives prevention program. S.A.V.E. will
be working closely with the Commission to ensure successful implementation of this provision.
“Not only will monitors provide a crucial ‘eyes on’ presence, they will also collect important
information on the level of launch demand during off hours,” said Ron Conover, Bolton Town
Supervisor. “Moreover, launch monitors will educate boaters to ensure full compliance with
this new regulation.”
“Launch monitors will provide the full coverage needed at all hours of the day. This provision is
fundamental to keeping the lake safe,” said Chester Town Supervisor Fred Monroe.
“Regulations are only as effective as their enforcement. Monitors will play an integral part in
this vital program function,” Monroe said.
“We now have the working elements for a mandatory inspection program that builds upon the
work of our Lake Stewards and provides for lasting success,” said Walt Lender, Executive
Director of the Lake George Association.
As explained by Lake George Supervisor, Dennis Dickinson, “There can be no doubt that we
must proceed with implementing a program that achieves the highest possible protection
standard. Lake George deserves nothing less.”
In summing up the significance of today’s proceedings, Eric Siy, Executive Director of The FUND
for Lake George, acknowledged the potential of the new program to serve as a model for other
water bodies. “Winning the war on aquatic invasives will take unprecedented cooperation and
commitment across sectors and levels of government. Our hope is that the work being done to
save Lake George will inspire others to follow our lead. We can only win with a prevention
effort that extends well beyond the shores of Lake George to become a state-wide imperative,
mobilizing citizens and resources to stop invasives before they ruin our precious waters. There
is no time to lose,” concluded Siy.
The S.A.V.E. Lake George Partnership is comprised of Village, Town, and County officials, along
with conservation groups, and researchers who together represent concerned residents
throughout the Lake George basin. The guiding principles and purpose of S.A.V.E. are contained
in a jointly signed Memorandum of Understanding citing the need for “a new mandatory boat
inspection and decontamination program to protect the water quality and public enjoyment of
Lake George to the maximum extent practicable…” During the 2013 boating season S.A.V.E.
member groups helped underwrite decontamination stations and associated labor costs as an
interim, albeit voluntary, step toward adoption of a formal inspection program.