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In this 2016 photo, a worker cleans a boat with a power washer at the Clifton-Fine inspection station on Route 3 in the Adirondacks.

PLATTSBURGH — A bill hailed as crucial for Adirondack lakes and rivers was signed into law by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul Friday.

The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman D. Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay Lake) is designed to help stop the spread of invasive aquatic species in the Adirondacks.

“I am proud to have authored this bill that will help combat aquatic invasive species in the Adirondack region and I want to thank Governor Hochul for signing this bill today,” Jones said in a statement.

“Invasive aquatic species present a serious threat to both our environment and our economy. These pests carry harmful diseases which can infect native plants and animals and damage local ecosystems. Once these species spread, attempting to contain them can be extremely expensive and time-consuming.

“This bill will prevent spread before it starts by instituting regular inspections and by educating boaters, which will not only save time and money, but also better safeguard our environment as well as protect land values for property owners.”

EXTENDS PROECTIONS

The measure extends the 2014 aquatic invasive species measures that recently expired and builds upon the law which will authorize the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to establish several inspection stations across the Adirondack Park as a precautionary measure against the propagation of invasive species, Jones said.

The stations authorized by the bill can be set up at any location in the Adirondack Park and within a 10-mile radius of its border, and would provide certifications for inspection and decontamination in addition to providing direct education and outreach to boaters, which will help prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species.

‘THEY HEARD US AND AGREED’

The Adirondack Council lauded the bill, saying it will make a major difference.

“It took us a few years of coalition-building, but we are grateful to the Legislature and Governor Hochul for giving us the time to gain support for this legislation,” William C. Janeway, executive director of the Adirondack Council, said in a statement.

“We needed the last two summers to explain the benefits to the boating and angling communities. They heard us and agreed that these are reasonable protections. The bill then passed unanimously and the result is this excellent new safeguard for the Adirondack Park’s precious lakes and rivers.”

EDUCATION, OUTREACH

Assemblyman Dan Stec also noted that, despite the time it took to pitch the measure, the end result was well worth it.

“This is great news especially for the park and the ecology important to us all,” Stec said in a statement. “It’s much less costly and much more effective to prevent introduction rather than mitigate the spread of invasive species in our lakes, rivers and streams. Our region has been a leader on this issue. I want to thank the committee chair, Senator Todd Kaminsky, for his work on the legislation and Governor Hochul for final approval.”

The Legislature also approved important new education and outreach funding.

The new law also makes permanent the New York State Aquatic Invasive Species Transport Act, which required boaters to take precautions like cleaning, draining, and drying their watercraft before launching in New York waters.

That law had originally been temporary and was set to expire in 2019. It was extended twice by the Legislature so advocates could win support for this permanent measure.

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