Festival Funds to be Donated to Lake George Marine Patrol
The Lake George Park Commission’s Marine Patrol will receive more than $20,000 in local funds raised at the “Festival for the Lake” last September, Lake George Village Mayor Bob Blais has announced.
“The festival raised approximately $21,000 to help combat invasive species,” said Blais. “The money was raised through the sale of admission tickets, vendors’ fees and two donations of $1000 each. Our group, the SAVE Lake George Partnership, agreed that support for the Marine Patrol was an appropriate use for these funds.”
Blais continued, “These funds will permit the Marine Patrol to maintain a level of service necessary to help enforce the regulations curbing the spread and introduction of invasive species.”
According to Dave Wick, the executive director of the Lake George Park Commission, a one-time, special grant of $20,000 last year permitted the Marine Patrol to extend its season, deploying boats and crews earlier than usual and remaining on lake into the autumn.
In the past, patrols began in mid-May and ceased after Columbus Day.
“We sent a boat and a crew out on the lake in April to help with research on the effectiveness of the efforts to eradicate Asian clams with benthic mats and to help the DEC gather information on the Spiny Water Flea, ” said Ben Bramlage, the Commission’s Director of Law Enforcement.
While assisting scientists, divers and volunteers with Asian clams and other invasives, the Marine Patrol was especially visible on and near the boat launches where stewards were inspecting boats for invasives.
This year, the Marine Patrol will help enforce newly enacted regulations requiring any boat launched on the lake to be free of invasive species.
“Mandatory invasives prevention will only be as effective as its enforcement. Festival funding will ensure extended coverage by the Marine
Patrol when it is needed most. We will not get a second chance to get this right and enforcement holds the key to success,” Eric Siy, the executive director of The Fund for Lake George and a member of the SAVE Lake George Partnership.
According to Wick, the funds donated by the SAVE Lake George Partnership will allow the Marine Patrol to place more boats and crews on the water in May, June and September than it could have otherwise.
The Marine Patrol will be fully staffed in July and August, as usual, Wick said.
According to Bramlage, the increased activity of the Lake George Park Commission Marine Patrol, especially now that other agencies are reducing their patrols, is also placing demands upon its equipment.
Reimbursements from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will help the Lake George Park Commission maintain and upgrade its boats, engines and other equipment, said Wick.