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St. Mary's students learn about Lake George aboard floating classroom

On board, park commission guests measured the lake's clarity with Secchi disks, and even tried their hand at capturing zooplankton, the basis of the lake's food chain.

"We like to see a wide variety of plankton because that indicates a reasonably healthy lake environment," said DeBolt. "Our Secchi disk readings confirm Lake George as an oligotrophic lake, meaning it is low in harmful nutrients, high in dissolved oxygen, and able to support a wide variety of life. Secchi readings also indicate the clarity, age and relative health of a lake."

"By making people aware of how humans affect the lake, we hope to bring along a new population of folks interested in good stewardship," Lender said. "Aboard the Floating Classroom, we bring this message to over a thousand people every season, and it's great that the park commission is now more familiar with the program and has a clearer understanding of what we are doing."

A new aspect of the Floating Classroom program this year is educating people about Lake George's most recent threat: the Asian Clam.

While most Floating Classroom participants are with a group - either a school, scout troop, homeowners association or other organization - the LGA will offer Floating Classroom trips for tourists and the general public on Wednesdays this July and August. Reservations requests can be made online or by calling the LGA at 668-3558.

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