The grant currently funding boat stewards at Horicon launch runs out this year.
BY STEPHEN EHLERS
For the past three years ESSLA has been the beneficiary of a $100,000 State grant which has helped to pay for boat stewards at the DEC launch in Horicon. That grant funding runs out this fall.
To lay the ground work to find a future funding source, in March I met with Mark Granger of SLA, Marcia Hartnett of PLA and Jane Smith, former ESSLA President who was pivotal in acquiring our current grant. We also invited the Supervisors of the three towns bordering Schroon Lake: Matt Simpson (Town of Horicon), Mike Marnell (Town of Schroon) and Craig Leggett (Town of Chester).
Our initial thought was to seek a “Mega Grant” that would cover boat inspection stewards at both ends of Schroon Lake, Paradox Lake and the two decontamination stations, as well as our neighboring lakes.
It soon became apparent that taking on more than Schroon and Paradox Lakes was biting off more than we could chew, so we confined our effort to the Schroon Lake watershed, which includes Paradox.
Shortly after that meeting, Matt Simpson reported that he had spoken to Wayne LaMothe, Warren County Planner, about applying for a Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) Grant with New York State, requiring a 25% match. The CFA Grant system only provides money for “recognized inland waterways,” and Schroon Lake is such a waterway. However, Paradox Lake, while part of the Schroon Lake watershed, is not a recognized inland waterway.
Meanwhile, Roger Friedman, SLA vice president, is communicating with Garrett Dague from the Essex County Planning Department regarding a CFA Grant.
As it stands now, we are proceeding on both fronts. Town of Horicon Supervisor Matt Simpson fully supports this cooperative dual-track effort. We will keep you informed on our progress as we move forward with this very important initiative.
Inspection, decontamination and education are the hallmark of the Boat Steward Program. Our trained stewards are the front line to containing and preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species in Schroon Lake and River.