June 07, 2013

EPA Provides Funds to Prevent the Spread of Invasive Species into Lake George; $50,000 Provided to Purchase Boat Inspection and

Contact Information: Larisa Romanowski, (518) 703-0101, [email protected] or Mike McGowan, (212) 637-4972, [email protected]

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has provided $50,000 to the Lake George Park Commission for the purchase of two boat inspection and washing stations that will reduce the threat of aquatic invasive species being introduced into the Lake George ecosystem. The stations began operating over the 2013 Memorial Day weekend, the start of the annual boating season.

An invasive species is a plant or animal that is not native to an ecosystem and whose introduction to that ecosystem is likely to cause economic, human health or environmental damage. Once an invasive species such as Hydrilla has established itself in a new ecosystem, it is extremely difficult to control its spread. Invasive species are commonly spread to new bodies of water via recreational boats and other recreational equipment transported among various waterbodies.

"The EPA is pleased to help the Lake George Park Commission reduce the threat of invasive species with these boat washing stations," said Joan Leary Matthews, Director of EPA Region 2's Clean Water Division. "The EPA urges all boaters on Lake George to use these stations and become informed about what they can do to keep invasive species out of waterbodies."

The two stations purchased with EPA funds, and an additional boat washing station currently owned by the Lake George Park Commission, are located at the three major points where boats are launched into the lake. The boats will be inspected and, if necessary, will be pressure washed with high temperature water. During 2013, the inspections and decontamination will be done on a voluntary basis. Boats with visible aquatic growth or otherwise identified by boat launch stewards as presenting a high-risk will be especially encouraged to have their boats inspected and decontaminated.

The number of new invasive species found in Lake George has increased over several decades, with two new species – the Asian Clam and the Spiny Water Flea – being discovered in the last three years alone.

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