A healthy lake is like mom and homemade apple pie. We all love them. Our lake deserves the love too, and keeping a lake healthy is the responsibility of everyone in the watershed.
If you’re feeling like you want to give our beautiful Schroon Lake some TLC, here are some steps you can take to make your home more lake friendly.
1. Stormwater runoff over hard impervious surfaces carries sediment, phosphorous, road de-icing materials, petrochemicals and other pollutants into the lake. Install gutters and rain barrels. Consider creating a rain garden or install a native plant buffer.
2. Preserve water quality by going “zero” for phosphorous-free lawn fertilizers. Other sources of phosphorous to avoid going into the lake are grass clippings, leaves and animal waste.
3. Follow the winding road and avoid straight paths to the waterfront. A meandering path will not only absorb more water, it will create soil stability and decrease runoff (see No. 1).
4. Avoid large, sandy beaches. I know, this too is like mom and apple pie. Consider creating a shoreline buffer with native plants to help with erosion and filter pollutants or nutrients that otherwise would enter the water.
5. Maintain a properly functiong septic system. Regular maintenance will avoid leaching contaminants into the lake and groundwater. Protect your health, your home and the lake.
6. Save the trees! Trees along the shoreline provide needed shade for aquatic life, stabilize the soil and filter runoff water before it enters the lake.
7. Clean, drain, dry your boat, motor and gear immediately after removing it from the water to avoid spreading aquatic invasive species.
8. Maintain or replace your 2-stroke engine. It’s estimated about 30% of the gas and oil used in these motors end up in the water.
9. Join your lake organization! ESSLA is a community of neighbors working together to maintain water quality and prevent the spread of invasive species. Learn more at www.essla.org and like us on Facebook.com/essla.org.
~By Karen Schmieder, ESSLA Board Director of Newsletters-Social Media-Website