LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Lake George Association is set to hold a gathering to talk about road salt – a potentially detrimental hazard to the health of any water body, no matter the scale. This year, the association’s annual summit will feature a leading authority on clean water, to guide a conversation that conservation groups say must be continuing and ever-changing.
Registration is open for the LGA’s seventh annual Adirondack Champlain Regional Salt Summit, set for Thursday, Oct. 13. Leading the conversation as keynote speaker this year is Marc Yaggi, CEO of the international Waterkeeper Alliance. Yaggi has worked in salt reduction efforts in Westchester County and New York City, and will draw on those experiences to talk about what has worked and what hasn’t in regards to road salt legislation.
“I’m honored to join the Lake George Association and Lake George Waterkeeper to discuss their innovative approach to road salt reduction,” said Yaggi. “Instead of waiting for the government to act on this issue, they forged ahead with a plan of their own to use salt smarter, and, in turn, have saved taxpayer dollars while also protecting the environment. Summits like these are so important for advancing and sharing these types of science-based, ground-up solutions that are delivering direct benefits everyone can learn from.”
Yaggi comes at a significant time, as that very legislation turns 50. The Clean Water Act’s birthday is being marked as a time to reflect on how well it has worked, and where more efforts are needed. The summit will invite public officials, business owners and nonprofit and community leaders to talk about keeping winter roads and driveways safe while not hurting the environment in the process. Topics this year include new salt and water quality science, an update on current initiative successes, live demonstrations and information about salt reduction beyond Lake George, further into the Adirondacks.
Road salt use around water bodies like Lake George can change the saline makeup of water, damaging fish habitats and even contributing to harmful algal blooms. In recent years, Warren County and the Town of Lake George have adopted brine, a liquid salt mixture that is applied to roads while using much less salt than the traditional method.
The summit runs from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fort William Henry Hotel and Conference Center in Lake George. For those who can’t attend in person, an online feed of the day’s talks will be streamed live through the LGA.