Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky

Wins Statewide Award

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Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky, PE, has been selected as the recipient of a statewide award for his work using the study of algae near the shore of the lake to identify and prioritize potential sources of pollutants. The Lake George Waterkeeper is a program of The FUND for Lake George.

Mr. Navitsky will be formally presented with the Linn H. Enslow Memorial Award from the non-profit New York Water Environment Association (NYWEA), a statewide organization of leaders in water quality management, at the Association’s annual meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 6, in New York City.

The Enslow award recognizes an individual outside of the NYWEA membership for an outstanding technical paper presented at an Association conference and/or published in a professionally recognized trade journal. Mr. Navitsky is being honored for his presentation titled, “Algal Biomonitoring Documenting Water Quality Impacts on Lake George,” which was presented at NYWEA’s 2018 spring meeting.

“The Lake George region has a tremendous resource in Chris Navitsky,” said Eric Siy, Executive Director of The FUND for Lake George. “The work Chris does on a daily basis to identify and address the risks to the Lake’s water quality are making a real difference today and for future generations. To have Chris recognized by his peers from across the state attests to the importance of this work.”

As Lake George Waterkeeper, an integral program of The FUND for Lake George, Mr. Navitsky develops and implements programs that use an engineering- and science-based approach to protect the natural resources of the lake and its surrounding basin for the benefit of the watershed and the community.

“Sources of organic pollution are contributing excessive nutrients to ground water and surface waters resulting in impacts to water quality, decreased clarity and increased algal growth, with the potential for toxic conditions,” Mr. Navitsky said. His award-winning presentation documents how the types of algae found in near-shore areas can help elected officials and residents understand the impacts of nutrients in the lake and develop prioritized management plans.

This type of biomonitoring has been applied on Lake George in two major water quality initiatives: measuring improvements from the addition of an onsite wastewater treatment system and septic system replacement program at Dunham’s Bay in the Town of Queensbury;  and as part of the creation of a GIS-based algorithm to develop a prioritization map identifying those areas of the Town of Lake George in need of remedial action to protect the lake from septic system contamination.

Mr. Navitsky was named Lake George Waterkeeper by The FUND in 2002, and is one of more than 300 members of the Waterkeeper Alliance worldwide. In 2005, he was named Conservationist of the Year by the Adirondack Council. Prior to joining The FUND, Mr. Navitsky worked for 16 years as a consulting engineer focused on site development and municipal engineering with strengths in wastewater design, stormwater management and erosion control. He is a graduate of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse University, and a licensed engineer in New York and Pennsylvania. Mr. Navitsky lives on Sabbath Day Point in Silver Bay with his wife and 11-year-old daughter.

The FUND for Lake George is the leading organization dedicated to protecting The Queen of American Lakes, through its innovative management model combining unprecedented partnerships; innovative science-guided projects; and direct investment in lake-protection efforts. In recent years The FUND has invested $7 million to curb invasive species, reduce the use of road salt, and abate the threats of wastewater and stormwater pollution. The FUND is a partner with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and IBM in The Jefferson Project, the world’s most advanced environmental monitoring system, whose data is driving many of the science-guided solutions currently in place in and around the lake. The FUND is also a founding member of The S.A.V.E. Lake George Partnership, a coalition of elected officials and regional organizations that is spearheading efforts to reduce road salt use around the Lake, and prevent the introduction of invasive species.