ADK has a strong history of defending water bodies in the Adirondacks and across New York, whether that threat comes from power plants causing acid rain or from hydraulic fracturing. Today, another culprit threatens New York’s invaluable water resources: Aquatic Invasive Species.
While most nonnative species introduced into foreign water bodies fail to reproduce and establish a community, some hardy species can thrive in a variety of climates and ecosystems. Where they flourish, they often overtake native species, reduce biodiversity, and alter the environment.
Two of every three waters surveyed in the Adirondacks are free of invasive species, but there is cause for concern. In the summer of 2012, the spiny water flea was discovered in Lake George. Alewife, white perch, zooplankton, and zebra mussels are some of the nonnative animal species threatening Lake Champlain. And harmful plant invaders, such as hydrilla, pose a major threat. Hydrilla, known as “the almost perfect weed,” has invaded 29 states.
ADK believes that prevention is the best way to fight aquatic invasive species from spreading to Adirondack lakes and ponds. That is why we recently signed on to a letter to Gov. Cuomo supporting the Lake George Park Commission’s proposed mandatory boat inspection and washing program to keep aquatic invasive species out of Lake George. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has opposed the program, arguing it would not be worth the $700,000 annual cost.