RESOURCE MATERIAL

SELF-DIRECTED PROJECTS

Measuring Lake Water Clarity

A Secchi disk is an 8-inch disk with alternating black and white quadrants. The disc is lowered into the lake until it can no longer be seen by the observer. This depth of disappearance, called the Secchi depth, is a measure of the transparency of the water.

Transparency can be affected by the color of the water, suspended sediments and algae. Transparency diminishes as color, suspended sediments, or algal abundance increases. Water is often stained yellow or brown by decaying plant matter. Algae are small, green aquatic plants whose abundance is related to the amount of plant nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen. Therefore, transparency can be affected by the amount of plant nutrients streaming into the lake from sources such as septic tanks, sewage treatment plants, and lawn and agricultural fertilizer. Suspended sediments are often due to resuspension from lake bottoms, construction sites, agricultural fields, and storm runoff.

Transparency is an indicator of the impact of human activity on the land surrounding the lake. If transparency is measured throughout the season and from year to year, trends in transparency can be observed. Diminishing transparency can signal an early warning sign that human activity is negatively impacting the health of a lake.

MTC has produced 14 Secchi discs for participants to share. Sign-up here if you are interested in measuring water clarity for your self-directed project. Adults only - children require adult supervision.

Trash Clean-up – Lake Bottom, Shoreline and Beyond! The Boon Family’s annual effort to remove trash from the bottom of Fourth Lake inspired this event and may inspire you as well! Read their story and more!

http://www.weeklyadk.com/archives/11093

https://www.adirondackexpress.com/express-3d-june-4-2021/

www.adirondackexpress.com/maintain-the-chain-cleanup-event-a-success/

www.adirondackalmanack.com/2021/05/maintain-the-chain-clean-up-event.html#comments

https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/stories/plastic-pollutes-the-park

https://www.newyorkupstate.com/outdoors/2016/08/dec_hitting_golf_balls_into_lakes_is_littering_a_ticketable_offense.html

What began as a family tradition of sprucing up the area around their Fourth Lake camp has evolved into a widespread clean up event dubbed Maintain the Chain (MTC) that focuses efforts on the Fulton Chain of Lakes. MTC featured in the Adirondack Explorer. Wonderful article by Jamie Organski. Read all about MTC including the history behind the event.


7 Principles of Leave No Trace

lnt.org/why/7-principles/

Wildlife Protection (see photos below)

https://www.adkloon.org

https://www.adkloon.org/lead-tackle-buy-back-program

https://www.adkloon.org/fishing-line-recycling-program

https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/stories/loon-protectors

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/news/lead-fishing-tackle-is-still-a-problem-for-common-loons/

https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7908.html


Homeowner’s Guide to Lake-Friendly Living

https://fultonchainoflakesassociation.org/pdf/homeowners_guide.pdf

https://www.gardeners.com/how-to/rain-garden/5712.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjwheyUBhD-ARIsAHJNM-MM9wI25x5uL8eRz806l7TMkhNdCaxCogwgGOH8nxX2zmJNC72LfWYaAm50EALw_wcB

https://www.epa.gov/soakuptherain/soak-rain-rain-gardens

https://www.adirondack.net/whatsnew/2013/07/interview-defranco/


Engage Local Libraries

https://www.librarieslovelakes.org/

Water Gardens in New York

https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/waterguide.pdf

Check out the New York Botanical Garden’s tips for starting your own water garden at https://libguides.nybg.org/watergarden.

Find plants that are native to your area at the New York Flora Atlas: www.newyork.plantatlas.usf.edu.


Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) Lake Stewards Video Series; Certification and Training Programs

https://www.adkwatershed.org/stewardship-program

https://sites.google.com/view/certificate-adkwatershed/home


Ranger Station at Alger Island Access Point

https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/24451.html

Invasive Species - Aquatic (see photos below)

https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/50121.html

Invasive Species | Adirondack Watershed Institute (adkwatershed.org)

https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2021/06/invasive-species-awareness-week-2021.html

adkinvasives.com/Invasive-Species/

Read about the new law (2021) requiring motorized boats to be inspected for invasive plants and other harmful organisms prior to launch in Adirondack waters.

www.adirondackcouncil.org/page/press-releases-16/news/adirondack-council-applauds-new-protections-vs-invasive-species--1438.html


Invasive Species - Terrestrial (see photos below)

https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/95383.html

adkinvasives.com/Invasive-Species/

Take photos and report infestations of invasive plants or animals to isinfo@dec.ny.gov or to the iMapInvasives database: http://www.nyimapinvasives.org/.


Harmful Algal Blooms (see photo below)

https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/77118.html

www.adirondack.net/invasives-harmful-plants/harmful-algal-blooms/

PROTECT OUR LOONS

Thousands of birds are injured or killed each year due to fishing line entanglement. Heroic staff from the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation detangle a bird caught in fishing line (left). The Department of Environmental Conservation warns that loons are at risk for lead poisoning due to ingestion of lead fishing weights (right).

Lead fishing weights removed from the stomach of loons.

ALGAL BLOOMS and INVASIVE SPECIES

Left: Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), rapid accumulation of algae in lakes that can be harmful to both wildlife and humans. Common colors are green, blue-green, yellow, brown, or red.

Middle: Eurasian Milfoil, is an invasive aquatic plant that destroys ecosystems. Due to the dense mats that it forms, it often makes activities such as boating and swimming difficult or impossible. Furthermore, clusters of these plants serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Right: Zebra Mussels are an invasive, fingernail-sized mollusk with dark, zig-zagged stripes on each shell. Zebra mussels negatively impact ecosystems in many ways. They filter out algae that native species need for food and they attach to--and incapacitate--native mussels.

Left: Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is a tiny insect that feeds on hemlock trees. It can kill a tree in as quickly as four years once infestation has occurred (Courtesy of Adirondack Council).

Middle: Spotted Lantern Flies are in invasive pest from Asia that feed on a variety of plants such as maple and walnut trees, and thus pose a significant threat to New York's agricultural health.

Right: Phragmites, also called common reed grass, is an aggressive wild grass that overtakes wetlands and roadsides, growing as tall as 15 ft. These grasses impact views, damage infrastructure, and reduce property values (Courtesy of Adirondack Council)

The gypsy moth, now called the spongy moth, appeared in great numbers last year (2021) in the Eastern Adirondacks. The numbers were so great that the sound of them eating and defecating was audible in some places, providing one of nature’s creepier soundtracks. The caterpillars surge every 10 to 15 years or so, but healthy trees can generally survive a couple years of defoliation.

Sponsors, Supporters, and Endorsers of the Maintain the Chain Event

Fulton Chain of Lakes Association

Town of Webb

Town of Inlet

Adirondack Council

Adirondack Watershed Institute (of Paul Smith’s College)

Sixth and Seventh Lakes Improvement Association