By Bill McGhie
In 2007 a group of individuals came together with a shared goal of setting a vision for the protection of Schroon Lake while maintaining enjoyment for residents and visitors. These individuals represented the Schroon Lake Association and ESSLA and were under the leadership of Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District with input from Adirondack Ecologists. Help was also provided by numerous State and County offices, local municipalities, the DEC and neighboring lake associations. They formed the Schroon Lake Watershed Management Planning Committee.
In 2010 it issued the comprehensive, 130 page Schroon Lake Watershed Management Plan. Chapter 5 contains over 60 recommendations to protect Schroon Lake for the foreseeable future. To assure that this important document would not gather dust, the Steering Committee was created to assure timely and appropriate follow-up of its recommendations. This Committee consists of representatives from the two lake associations, the three Towns, the Warren and Essex County Soil and Conservation Districts, the Lake Chaplain Lake George Regional Planning Board and special consultants. It meets regularly under the leadership of its co-chairs Bill McGhie and Eric Cordis.
So by then we had a great Plan for Schroon lake and a Steering committee eager to get to work but we lacked one necessary component —money. Thankfully our friends in Warren County Soil and Water prepared a grant application to New York State. Our two Lake Associations then tracked and submitted our extensive volunteer hours dedicated to the care of Schroon Lake. Based on those hours and our commitment, in 2013 the Department of State awarded the Steering Committee a grant of $300,000 to implement the recommendations of the Plan.
Last year we conducted a septic pump out program for certain lakeside homes in Warren County and this year we will complete the program with septic pump outs in Essex County. In Adirondack, at Red Wing Road and Church Street we installed new drains and catch basins to collect storm-water runoff. Watch for a rain garden to appear at the foot of Church St. In the Town of Schroon drop basins will be installed this fall to intercept much of the storm water run off before it enters the streams and streets running down to the lake. The Steering Committee also has used some the grant funding to secure a high pressure, hot water (140 degrees) wash station located at the corner of East Shore Drive and East Schroon River Road. This will help us protect our lake from a host of invasive plants and animals that now surround us.
We have many ideas and projects we hope to implement. If you have any suggestions for projects you want us to consider contact me at email@example.com.
Finally I am happy to say that our volunteers have been sieving our shorelines and so far, we have found no evidence of any Asian Clams!