QUEENSBURY -- The state has opened a new boat inspection and decontamination station at the Adirondacks Welcome Center on Interstate 87 in Queensbury, where people can get their boars inspected for aquatic invasive species and cleaned.
The new center will complement inspection and washing stations located around Lake George and elsewhere in the Adirondacks. Lake George is one of the few lakes to require mandatory inspections, but the state highly recommends them for boats entering any new body of water.
This year the state will have more than 160 boat stewards located at over 250 locations throughout New York state, the Department of Environmental Conservation said.
One of the main pathways for transfer of invasive species between bodies of water is recreational boats and water vehicles and equipment. Aquatic invasives and animals such as hydrilla, water chestnut and zebra mussels can attach themselves to a boat or vessel and be transported to an un-invaded body of water, state officials said.
The new boat wash station features permanent sheds for staff and equipment, a built-in boat washing pit and water collection system and two decontamination units. Multiple boat stewards will be stationed at the I-87 site throughout the summer, officials said.
The total cost of the boat wash station was approximately $650,000, paid for primarily with state funds. The Fund for Lake George contributed $23,000 and The Nature Conservancy contributed $33,000. The state Environmental Protection Fund will pay about $90,000 in operating costs.
"The Adirondack Northway is a primary transport route for boats that inadvertently carry invasive species into our region, and this facility will help us find and remove these harmful plants and animals long before they reach our shore," said Eric Siy, executive director of The Fund for Lake George, a major player in Lake George protection efforts.
State regulations requires those using boats to take reasonable precautions to prevent the spread of invasive species.