Caroga receives $61K grant

Will be use to fight aquatic invasive species

CAROGA — The town has been awarded $60,989 from New York state for a three-year project through the Department of Environmental Conservation’s competitive grant program to support the work of the town’s boat decontamination and inspection program. The grant was developed for the Town by the Canada Lakes Conservation Association and announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, according to a news release.

The program is coordinated by the Town’s Lake Management Committee. It is comprised of a high-temperature pressure wash boat decontamination station located across from the Town Hall on Route 10 and boat inspection stations staffed by trained stewards who inspect boats at the West Lake Fishing Access ramp at Canada Lake and the boat launch at the Caroga Lake Campsite.

The Caroga Marina also participates by providing customers with inspections. Boats entering Canada Lake or Caroga Lake that may need decontamination are referred to the boat washing station. However, any boater in the area can utilize the boat wash free to decontaminate their boat. Boaters in Pine Lake, Pleasant Lake, Stoner Lakes, and Peck’s Lake can all utilize the boat decontamination station.

James McMartin Long, deputy supervisor and Town Board member noted that, “the Town’s extensive program is made possible through a partnership that includes resources provided through the town, volunteers from the Canada Lakes Conservation Association, and support from the Adirondack Watershed Institute of Paul Smiths College. The town has also continued to expand efforts to remove Eurasian milfoil from East and West Caroga.”

Michael Durkee, co-chair of the Invasive Species Committee for the Canada Lake Conservation Association noted in the release that, “this grant will help provide regional support for boaters from surrounding lakes.”

He went on to say “The lake associations from Pleasant Lake, Stoner Lakes, Caroga Lakes and Pine Lake have all been working to raise awareness among boaters and camp owners about the need to keep their water craft clean, drained and dry to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species such as across our lakes.”

In 2018, the town inspection program inspected 2,212 boats and found invasive organisms on 22 watercraft. The program also educated more than 4,000 visitors about prevention and detection.

“Volume has increased every year and the grant funding will help address that demand,” said Durkee in the release.

Invasive plants and animals such as Eurasian water milfoil, variable leaf milfoil, and spiny water flea, have been found in several lakes in the county. Infestations can cause significant restrictions to the recreational use of infested water ways.

For more information about the grant award and invasive species program contact John Olm, Caroga Boat Steward supervisor at (518) 265-5846 or email ojohn1@nycap.rr.com; or James McMartin Long, deputy supervisor and Town Board member at (518) 835-3734 or email james@jameslong.com.