State Officials Come to Lake George to Formally Commission Restored Wetland
With the ceremonial turning of a gilded valve, New York’s Secretary of State Cesar Perales and Lake George Mayor Bob Blais officially opened the restored wetland near the mouth of West Brook.
The complex of settling ponds, marshlands and gravel wetlands will treat the pollutants borne by stormwater from surrounding highways and parking lots, protecting Lake George from pollution.
“These wetlands will function in much the same way as the original ones did, filtering sediments and removing harmful nutrients from water before it enters Lake George,” said Walt Lender, the executive director of the Lake George Association.
“Stormwater from Route 9 will enter the first settling pond via the inlet culvert,” he said. “From there it will travel through shallow marsh wetlands where pollutants in the runoff will be naturally treated through uptake by the plants. Finally, the water will be diverted into either a deep water marsh or a gravel wetland, where dense root mats, crushed stones and a microbe rich environment will improve the quality of the water before it returns to West Brook through the outlet culvert.”
Lake George watershed communities were awarded $152,000 in grants from the the Department of State and the Environmental Projection Fund to design the project, as well an additional $1.2 million for construction.
“I am proud that the Department of State could be a part of this effort, and pleased that the Environmental Protection Fund’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program continues to play a major role in the revitalization of Lake George, contributing to economic development while preserving the water quality of the lake,” said Perales.
Additional funding for the project was provided by the US Department of Agriculture and the New York State Department of Transportation.
The stormwater treatment complex will be incorporated into the Charles R. Wood Conservation Park , which will consist of walking paths, an extension of the Warren County bike trail, restrooms, a children’s play area, fitness trails and interpretive educational areas, said Mayor Blais.
“Today’s event is a clear example of collaboration and direct investment at work—for the health of Lake George, the community, and the economy. The creation of Wood Park is another step on the path to restoring and protecting our beloved lake for many generations to come,” said Eric Siy, the executive director of The Fund for Lake George.
The Fund for Lake George is one of the three lake protection organizations that joined with Warren County, the Town and the Village of Lake George to acquire the property for $4.1 million. The Lake George Association and the Lake George Land Conservancy are the other two. The three groups agreed to raise $1.56 million to help fund the acquisition and protect the land from development.
The ceremony opening the restored wetland, which was held on Tuesday, July 30, was attended by State Senator Betty Little, Assemblyman Dan Stec, Warren County Board chairman Kevin Geraghty, as well as town and village officials.