DEC Commissioner spends day in Lake George addressing issue of invasive pests

Posted at: 02/22/2013 6:04 PM
Updated at: 02/22/2013 6:30 PM
By: Bill Lambdin

LAKE GEORGE - Lurking below the frozen surface of Lake George are two unwelcome plants and three animal species not native to the famous and pure waters.

Boats brought in from other polluted waters are believed responsible, although there may be other sources as well.

"We want to start to ramp up things this summer," said Joe Martens, the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation. "We can't wait to address the problem."

DEC Commissioner Martens met with various groups Friday to discuss what the state can and will do about the invasive pests.

Lake George Town Board member Marisa Muratori was in the meeting with local officials.

"We've been impacted and we're very concerned about it," Muratori said. "We're extremely worried."

The state's Lake George Park Commission will be getting 250-thousand dollars to pay for voluntary boat washing stations and boater education. 

"We have to do something and I think we've got to expand it to the entire state, to all the boats and all of the lakes," said Senator Betty Little (R - Queensbury).

But some advocates complain the state isn't moving as fast or as aggressively as it needs to.

"Hydrilla, for example, can contaminate swimming areas so that the water is covered by a green gunk that no one wants to swim in and then by August, it smells," warned Neil Woodworth pf the Adirondack Mountain Club.

The Commissioner says the state can't just impose mandatory regulations.

"You are required by law to look at alternatives to examine the science, to go out for public comment and then respond to those public comments before you can complete the document," Martens said.