The Waters

Events and associated evidence about water quality, invasives and water treatment can be found here in the Scenario Framework Navigation Tool.

Combating Invasives

Invasive species are one of the top threats to the quality and health of Adirondack lands and waters. They come in all shapes and sizes – plants and animals, pests and pathogens – they affect all habitats – aquatic and terrestrial – and their management burdens residents, governments and non-governmental groups alike. Some invasive species, like Eurasian watermilfoil and Japanese knotweed, have been in the region for decades, others are recent arrivals, like Asian clam, spiny waterflea and feral swine.

The Adirondacks have an opportunity at a scale unlike any other in the country to prevent widespread degradation by invasives. Groups in the Adirondacks recognized this, and the need to act, early on. A grass-roots, partnership program – now known as the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) – formed in 1998 to fill this need and develop and deliver coordinated invasive species programming in the region.

Founding partners include the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, Adirondack Park Agency, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and Department of Transportation but the partnership has since expanded to include Paul Smith’s College, Lake Champlain Basin Program, County Cornell Cooperative Extension Offices, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, River Associations, Lake Associations and more than 30 cooperating partners representing environmental, academic, advocacy, municipal, industry and resident groups. Originally funded by state and federal grants, APIPP is currently supported by funding from the Environmental Protection Fund administered by DEC. It served as a model program for seven other regional partnerships (Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management) established across the state.

APIPP’s role is to serve as a clearinghouse of information, a coordinator of action and a communicator of needs. Its mission is to protect the region from the negative impacts of non-native invasive species. The program is only as strong as its partners and is open to any and all who are interested in participating. The partnership is hosted at Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy in Keene Valley and works throughout the Adirondack Park as well as in the northern portions of Franklin and Clinton Counties. The partnership has three full time staff (a Director, Aquatics Project Coordinator, and Terrestrial Project Coordinator), holds regular meetings, develops and offers programming and educational materials, and maintains a database, website (www.adkinvasives.com), listserve (http://www.nyis.info/?action=prism_partners) and blog (http://adk-invasives.blogspot.com/).  Key focus areas include coordination, early detection and rapid response, management, education, prevention and identifying research, policy and funding needs.

By December 2012, the APIPP partnership will finalize its 5-year strategic plan that describes the vision for addressing invasive species in the Adirondack region and charts a path forward with clear goals and actions to get there. Many of the actions are already underway, but some key initiatives will need local ingenuity, state leadership and sustained funding to maintain progress. Get involved, share your ideas and help shape the future of invasive species programming and policies in the Adirondacks by contacting Hilary Smith, APIPP Director, at 518-576-2082.

The following key invasive species initiatives are priorities in the region:

  • Coordinating stakeholders and collaborating on invasive species solutions
  • Preventing new infestations by implementing innovative prevention programs, such as the boat launch steward program at water access sites, and policies, such as the Invasive Species Prevention Act and the Local Aquatic Transport Law
  • Enhancing a region-wide early detection network that utilizes staff and volunteers of partner organizations and communities to detect and report new infestations
  • Formalizing Response Teams, including an Aquatic Response Team and a Terrestrial Response Team, comprised of seasonal crews with the training and capacity to implement swift controls of new infestations
  • Implementing strategic management on existing infestations to limit their spread
  • Launching an invasive species education, marketing, and advertising campaign that informs all New Yorkers and visitors to New York about how to stop the spread of invasive species
  • Leveraging resources to the region to implement the full suite of actions required to stop the spread of invasive species.

Water Treatment and Pollution

Coordination and exchange of ideas between all the different groups working on these issues will allow for better long-range success.  The group from CGA is to meet again.  This issue intersects with desires to increase farming in the region, as agricultural runoff abatement must be part of the plan.

  • Improve coordination among Park groups working on water treatment and non-point runoff.

There is a tremendous capital requirement for building out water treatment in Park communities.  The threat to the Park’s water must be prioritized in State funding for water treatment.

  • Put together coalition to develop a program for building out water treatment in more Park communities

There is a lot of energy on this topic, and a lot of ongoing work.  There is a subgroup of the North Country Sustainability Planning project devoted to this topic. CGA Core Team member Zoe Smith (World Conservation Society, Adirondack Program) is the point person on this at the moment.

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