PAUL SMITHS – Dr. Brendan Wiltse of the Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) was recently recognized by the Mirror Lake Watershed Association with its 2020 Watershed Award.
Since 2004, the Mirror Lake Watershed Association has been presenting this annual award to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the board's efforts to protect Mirror Lake and its watershed.
“Brendan has been the keeper of the scientific data of Mirror Lake for years and has helped keep the interests of the watershed in the forefront of our local leaders and concerned volunteers,” Bill Billerman, chair of the Mirror Lake Watershed Association, said in a news release.
"He has often coordinated with Nev and Louise Dunn, last year's recipients of the award, who have worked tirelessly to identify and remove invasive plants and helped keep a watchful eye out for other threats to the lake.”
Wiltse was hired as AWI’s Water Quality Director in 2020 with a cross-appointment as visiting assistant professor in the masters of natural resource conservation program at Paul Smith's College. Prior to his position at AWI, Wiltse was the science and stewardship director at the Ausable River Association where he started his work on Mirror Lake to reduce environmental effects from road salt contamination.
“We congratulate Brendan for this well-deserved award and offer thanks to the Mirror Lake Watershed Association for recognizing his efforts,” Dan Kelting, AWI executive director, said.
Wiltse’s work on road salt impacts to Mirror Lake contributed to passing of the Randy Preston Road Salt Reduction Act. Signed by Governor Cuomo in December of 2020, the act was named after the late Randy Preston, the Town of Wilmington supervisor who was a leader in road salt reduction efforts.
The act establishes a task force to review road salt contamination and road management best practices within the Adirondacks in an effort to help protect drinking water and the health of waterbodies in the Adirondacks, like Mirror Lake.
“Brendan’s combination of scientific knowledge plus being a likeable guy has made him very influential, a perfect advocate for our lake and perfect recipient of our annual Watershed Award,” added Billerman.