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AUSABLE WATER WISE: You protect our streams and lakes

An excavator completes construction of a 2021 stream restoration project on the East Branch in Jay building flood resilience for the community and restoring the health of this river section. (Photo provided)

Earlier this month, I attended the first National Stream Restoration Conference in Nashville. With over 700 practitioners from every state, it was a remarkable learning and networking event.

I was one of four speakers invited to be part of the final panel presentation. Our task was to provide a vision for the future of stream restoration. My colleagues were experts in stream health, the science of stream restoration, and restoration practice. My task was to share the Ausable River Association’s expertise in implementing watershed-scale restoration; that is, working with communities to restore and protect our streams.

“There’s not many other organizations putting it all together on the ground like AsRA,” one conference organizer explained. “You educate, work in and with your communities, and have the in-house skill and partnerships to provide accurate science and effective stream restoration.”

It makes me so proud that professionals in the field, government colleagues, academics, and practitioners see AsRA leading the way with our dedicated work. And there’s no doubt that our efforts are bringing proven, cutting-edge solutions to stream restoration that build healthy streams and climate resilience in our Ausable communities and beyond.

On Aug. 25, we’ll be hosting a public meeting at Heaven Hill Farm to update the community on the status of our ongoing work to reduce the salt concentrations in Mirror Lake. In partnership with Brendan Wiltse of the Adirondack Watershed Institute, we’ll provide an overview of the tempered success we’re seeing as the town of North Elba, the village of Lake Placid, residents, and business owners work to reduce salt use and inputs. While the news is good so far, there are an enormous number of variables at play. We must stay vigilant and continue to reduce our use of road salt. Only consistent and ongoing efforts by each of us will ensure the health of Mirror Lake.

That’s just two examples of the science-based and solution-oriented work we do with our communities to protect our streams and lakes. None of it is possible without your support. We’re relying on you and individuals throughout the watershed and beyond to help us reach our goal of raising $75,000 this summer. If you’ve already donated, thank you! Consider introducing a friend to our work, asking them to match your donation and doubling your impact.

At AsRA, we’re dedicated to confronting the challenges facing our streams and lakes. We use science to understand these challenges, we partner with individuals, groups, and municipalities to find solutions, and we secure the necessary funds. Then we implement the solutions and monitor to ensure they last. It’s a rigorous process with no short cuts. You make it possible.

With your support, we’re successfully restoring our streams and lakes, protecting their clean waters and their biodiversity, and giving residents, visitors, and communities the knowledge and tools to make a difference. Your donation keeps our staff working and gets the projects in your community done. According to at least one group of experts, your investment in our work is making a big difference that reverberates at a national scale. Thank you.

(Kelley Tucker is the executive director of the Ausable River Association.)