Adirondack business community supports invasive species education efforts
PAUL SMITHS, NY (02/13/2018) The Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) of Paul Smith's College is pleased to recognize the outstanding support of businesses both in and around the Adirondack Park.
Since 2015, the New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has contracted with AWI to implement the Adirondack Park Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention Program, which consists of dozens of watercraft inspection and decontamination stations located at popular waterways across the Adirondack region. This program, now in its third year, has been highly praised by a wide range of government leaders and advocacy organizations, both in the Adirondacks and in Albany.
Initiated in August of 2017, The AWI's business community outreach program has gotten off to a strong start through the efforts of Paradox Consulting Group's Tom Williams. Over a dozen business supporters, including the Lake Placid Crowne Plaza, Stewart's Shops, Glens Falls National Bank, and others, have agreed to display signage and distribute literature about invasive species prevention and decontamination programs to their customers.
"We are pleased to be part of this effort to protect Adirondack waterways and encourage other businesses, large and small, to join us," said Jacob Reinhard of Alpin Haus RV Dealership Group.
State Sen. Betty Little also praised the program.
"When it comes to aquatic invasive species our approach has to be all hands on deck," said Little. "We need everyone's help in this challenging and critically important battle. I applaud the AWI for spearheading this effort with the enthusiastic involvement of the business community. This is a great collaboration to complement what is being done by the DEC and others to prevent the spread of invasive species in the Adirondacks and beyond."
Brendan Quirion, manager of The Nature Conservancy's Adirondack Invasive Species Program, called the business outreach program a "win-win" for both the Park and its communities.
"Adirondack businesses have a major stake in the health and continued enjoyment of the lakes and rivers that draw many of their clients and customers," said Quirion. "By supporting aquatic invasive species prevention efforts, businesses are not only protecting Adirondack waters, but also their bottom line."
"Obviously, healthy woods and waters are the major draw for most Adirondack tourists and we should be vigilant in protecting the ecology of these assets," said Inlet Area Business Association (IABA) Chairman Dave Scranton. "With assistance from the AWI, IABA members can be proactive in educating our visitors with accurate and important information."
Chuck Parker, president of the New York State Conservation Council, added that the state-wide sporting and conservation group supports sound management as a tool to improve the outdoor experience for those who enjoy the Adirondacks.
"Education is key to protecting and enhancing New York's natural resources, of which we are all stewards," he added.
According to Dr. Eric Holmlund, director of the AWI Stewardship Program, partnering with businesses to increase education is a critical component of successful efforts to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.
"The efforts to engage the business community through this initiative will continue during the winter months with the goal of increased public awareness prior to the spring 2018 boating season," he explained.
The AWI welcomes additional business support and involvement. Program registration and materials information can be found at www.adkwatershed.org/how-you-can-help or contact Eric Holmlund at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Adirondack Watershed Institute is a program of Paul Smith's College that conducts work broadly focused on conserving and protecting natural resources in the Adirondack region. We offer a range of services to the public, including invasive species management, water quality monitoring, recreational use studies, ecological studies, and educational programs and publications. Through our work, we also provide large numbers of real jobs and research experiences to undergraduate students. Learn more at www.adkwatershed.org