BOLTON — In May, the town of Queensbury passed new stormwater protection measures for waterfront residences, earning it recognition Saturday.
The Town Board adopted a local law, requiring a 75-foot undisturbed buffer along streams for waterfront properties, said Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky. Previously, it was 15 feet.
The density of vegetative buffers was also increased, as were reasons for a site plan review for properties along all water bodies in the town.
Ultimately, keeping excess nutrients out of water could help limit the possibility of a toxic algal bloom.
Navitsky said having these undisturbed buffers not only protects the stream water, it also protects wildlife. The shading from trees along a stream helps keep the water cooler, which is better for some fish species. It could also help limit algae growth by blocking sunlight.
“This really creates a more robust and dense buffer to help protect water quality from runoff that would be directed toward the lake, and that would be a requirement for all projects that require site plan review or a variance,” Navitsky said.
The Fund presented Queensbury officials, including Supervisor John Strough and Town Board member Catherine Atherden, with the Irving Langmuir Award Saturday at The Fund’s annual meeting held in Bolton.
“It’s great that Queensbury is being recognized in this way for our environmental efforts,” Atherden wrote in an email. “The reduction of stormwater runoff is vital to the health of all water bodies. I enjoyed leading this project and working with folks committed to improving the water quality of Lake George and all our water bodies.”
Atherden said the Assembly Point Water Quality Association and the Glen Lake Association helped propose the new local law through a town committee Atherden chaired.
The Fund also recognized two leaders for their work on The Jefferson Project, a water-quality mapping and monitoring system on Lake George. The James D. Corbett Award was presented to Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and John E. Kelly III, executive vice president of IBM.
Jackson said she was recently elected to the global board of the Nature Conservancy.
“I’m sure this project had a lot to do with it,” she said.
Kelly said, in a couple of weeks, the world will celebrate the 50th anniversary of man landing on the moon, an event in which IBM computers played a part.
Now, he said, there is more computer power in the sensor-floating platforms on Lake George, equipped with IBM technology, than in the computers that launched a rocket to put a man on the moon.
“This year’s award recipients exemplify a love of Lake George and a willingness to lead that is essential for the lake’s long-term protection,” Navitsky said, in a news release.