2008 Rainbow Lake Assn. Boat Launch Stewardship Summary

For the fourth consecutive summer season RLA, with the guidance of Professor Eric Holmlund of Paul Smiths College, provided the courtesy boat inspections at the NYS Buck Pond launch serving the Rainbow waterway.

Trained college students inspected boats for invasive aquatic plants, and during the launching process engaged boaters in conversation and distributed pamphlets about lake conservation and safety. These student stewards monitored boaters a total of 29 Saturdays and Sundays, overseeing the launching of 251 boats and sharing the “clean boat” message with 586 people. This endeavor was funded thru a US Fish and Wildlife grant to PSC.

As part of their training, each college student participated in the NYS boater safety course administered by Marge and Ted Glowa, active RLA members.

2008 was the second year volunteer lake stewards from RLA performed courtesy boat inspections and advocated for lake conservation at the Buck Pond launch. Twenty-seven volunteer stewards, wearing distinctive yellow tee shirts, served during the summer season. They staffed the launch on 10 consecutive Fridays, July 4, and Labor Day—a total of 12 days. Volunteers inspected 132 boats and interacted with 244 people anticipating the responsible enjoyment of the Rainbow Waterway. About 12 % of the visitors were surprised to learn that their last boat outing was on a waterway infested with invasive aquatic plants.

Thanks to the vigilance of all our boaters and lake stewards, the Rainbow Waterway remains free of the notorious invasive aquatic plants: Eurasian watermilfoil, water chestnut, curly leaf pondweed, and zebra mussels.

2009 is off to a great start. Jim Hauber has volunteered to be co-coordinator. Four new association members have taken the required PSC stewardship workshop. Volunteer coverage for Fridays is being scheduled. The enthusiastic participation of RLA volunteer stewards is shaping up as a model for lake associations throughout the Adirondack Park.

Joe Deignan, Lake Steward Coordinator