Survey backs effort

SCHROON LAKE Protecting the water quality in Schroon Lake should be a top priority. Thats the result of a survey of Schroon Lake watershed residents in Schroon, Chester and Horicon by the Schroon Lake Association. The survey was conducted last summer and the results recently compiled by the Warren County Soil and Water District. Respondents also want to eradicate invasive species and develop water testing programs. Almost 92 percent of respondents feel the most important task for the Schroon Lake Association is to protect and enhance the water quality of the lake; 89 percent indicate that eradicating milfoil and other exotics is very important; while 82 percent of respondents rank the development of a permanent water quality testing program as very important, said Helen Wildman, SLA president. The Schroon Lake Association was founded in 1911 to save Schroon Lake. The group is already at work toward the survey goals. It is, indeed, part of their original mission statement, Wildman said of protecting water quality. Since their founding in 1911 they have worked to maintain the purity of the lake water and the welfare of the community. The Schroon Lake Association has also been working to control the spread of milfoil since it was discovered in the lake 15 years ago. The SLA has been working to control the invasive weed, Wildman said. We have funded hand harvesting, annual surveys to determine any new areas of infestation, and public education efforts with launch ramp surveillance and outreach information. We are currently embarked on a new program to control purple loosestrife which has begun to invade the area around the lake during the last several years, she added. We are currently obtaining permits to raise and release the purple loosestrife eating galerucella beetle at several sites around the lake this summer. The association also already has a water testing program in place. The Schroon Lake Association, in cooperation with the East Shore of Schroon lake Association (ESSLA), presently conducts bacteriological tests every summer at 12 sites in Schroon Lake. The SLA participates in the Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP) under the auspices of state Department of Environmental Conservation and NYSFOLA, testing sites in both the northern and southern basins of the lake. The results of these tests become part studies on lake quality throughout the State of New York. Additionally the Schroon Lake Association for many years has funded scientific studies of Schroon Lake conducted by Adirondack Ecologists, Wildman said. These studies have surveyed the plants, tested the chemical qualities of the tributaries and of the lake itself and form part of ongoing studies over time that can indicate changes in the quality of the lake water. The survey also showed respondents want to preserve wetlands and habitats, increase public education and awareness, protect stream corridors, and preserve open space.

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