ESSLA partnered with Paul Smith’s College and the Town of Horicon to operate a stewardship program aiming to control the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Boats traveling from one waterbody to the next can spread aquatic invasive plants Eurasian Water Milfoil, curly leaf pond weed and water chestnut and aquatic invasive pests like zebra mussels, quagga mussels and spiny waterflea. 

This can be prevented by good boat stewardship—the combination of:

  • Boaters following the “clean, drain, dry” protocol; and
  • Boat stewards inspecting and decontaminating boats before they enter the lake.

The Horicon launch is one of the busiest in the Adirondack Park. From Memorial Day to Columbus Day boat stewards are on duty at the Horicon boat launch. They educate boaters and inspect boats before they launch, decontaminating boats as needed. 

In each of the last three years Horicon stewards have intercepted five different varieties of aquatic invasive species before they could enter the lake.

 PWCs, canoes and kayaks, sailboats, pontoon boats and motor boats all undergo inspection. 

ESSLA is proud to provide volunteer mentoring and supervision to the paid stewards at the Horicon launch.