PLATTSBURGH — The Ausable River Association was awarded a $175,000 grant by the Lake Champlain Basin Program to advance effective, science-based approaches to reducing road salt impacts to Mirror Lake.

Funds will support ongoing work to monitor and study the impact of road salt on Mirror Lake and the Chubb River watershed.

The focus of the grant is a detailed study of salt use by the state, local municipalities, commercial operators, and residents. Understanding the amount and timing of salt used is essential to identifying strategic salt reduction targets and the locally effective suite of best management practices that will improve the water quality of Mirror Lake.

Funds are also available to support public education and community outreach.

“The Lake Placid community and Mirror Lake can serve as an important model for larger urban areas dealing with similar problems around road salt pollution,” AsRA’s Science and Stewardship Director, Dr. Brendan Wiltse, said.

“The small size of the Mirror Lake watershed will allow us to track salt application and runoff across the entire watershed, providing valuable insight that will inform efforts to reduce road salt in much larger urban environments. This is an opportunity for Lake Placid to find solutions that protect Mirror Lake and lead on a regionally important issue affecting our surface and groundwater.”

Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall said the Village of Lake Placid was happy to receive the grant.

“As a supporter of the AsRA application for the grant, its award supports and continues village efforts to seek new technology and alternative management practices protective of Mirror Lake, commensurate with public interest and safety,” Randall said.

“This builds on ongoing work the village is doing to Main Street and around Mirror Lake that includes a redesign of the storm water system. The grant includes over $70,000 in support to the Town of North Elba and the village, who are important collaborators on this project.”

The three-year project begins in 2020 and builds on AsRA’s ongoing water quality monitoring of Mirror Lake and the Chubb watershed.

“Protecting Mirror Lake, reducing its salt load, and ensuring this gem of the Adirondacks is healthy, is essential to all of us who live, work, and play here,” AsRA Executive Director Kelley Tucker said.

“We’ll be asking the community to join us in supporting this effort by helping us raise the $45,000 of matching funds needed.”

Funds were awarded through the Lake Champlain Basin Program’s technical grant program in cooperation with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission.