Watershed Plan Case Study

Lake George Watershed

The Lake George Watershed Coalition – comprised of municipalities, non-governmental organizations, county and state agencies, and citizens interested in preserving the beauty and health of Lake George – developed a plan to manage the Lake George watershed titled Lake George - Planning for the Future. With the number of diverse groups involved, it was essential to gain consensus on the issues affecting Lake George.

During the watershed planning process, the Lake George Watershed Coalition acknowledged the need to address four key actions in order to develop and implement a successful watershed plan. These included:

  • Providing staff for the development and implementation of the plan;
  • Reviewing previous studies relating to water quality issues and land use;
  • Establishing a report card of successes and status of implementation within the watershed; and
  • Developing public participation during plan development and implementation.

Addressing these key actions early on in the planning process resulted in a document that reflects consensus and includes comprehensive recommendations to address nonpoint source pollution, a major concern in the watershed and a priority recommendation in Planning for the Future. Since the completion of the plan in 2001, twenty-five stormwater management projects have been completed which together eliminate and/or treat over 250,000 gallons of runoff per day.
The Lake George Watershed Coalition also recognizes the importance of water quality monitoring. Biweekly samples are collected and analyzed to track the rapid changes that occur in water quality during the spring. Monitoring is conducted at 12 sites throughout Lake George, which allows planners, scientists, and citizens to track the health of the lake and determine the effectiveness of water quality improvement projects.

Public outreach and education is another priority identified in Planning for the Future. The Coalition supports a number of public outreach programs including an interactive web site and cable television programs that highlight water quality issues and invasive species such as zebra mussels and Eurasian watermilfoil.

 This case study appears in Chapter 5 of the Watershed Planning Guidebook.