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For Release: Friday, January 31, 2014

DEC Finalizes Plans to Relocate and Upgrade Lake George Beach Boat Launch

The final design plans to relocate and upgrade the Lake George Beach Boat Launch are completed, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Robert Stegemann announced today.

"DEC is committed to increasing recreational access to the state's natural treasures for both New Yorkers and visitors to the state. The design and operation of the boat launch will provide additional access for boaters to Lake George while ensuring the safety and minimizing the impacts on users of Lake George Beach and nearby residents," said Director Stegemann. "The input received from residents and local officials led to modifications resulting in a boat launch that boaters, bathers and residents will all appreciate."

The boat launch is part of a two-year project to improve the roads, parking lots and access to DEC's Lake George Beach Area - aka Million Dollar Beach. Improvements to the roads and parking lots through the use of porous asphalt and other stormwater management features will also protect the water quality of Lake George. The sidewalk along the beach will be upgraded increasing safety, convenience and attractiveness for pedestrians. A boat wash station is planned for the boat launch that will provide further protection for the lake.

"I am thrilled Governor Cuomo and DEC are upgrading the facilities at Million Dollar Beach to make it more user friendly and provide more protection for Lake George," said Town of Lake George Supervisor Dennis Dickinson. "The beach is a key asset to our community and its tourism driven economy. We couldn't be happier with the planned improvements."

"Million Dollar Beach has always been a primary destination of visitors to Lake George, the planned improvements will raise the attractiveness and accessibility of the beach," said Lake George Village Mayor Robert Blais. "As chairman of SAVE the Lake, I am also pleased that boaters will have increased access to the southern basin of the lake while protecting the lake from aquatic invasive species."

DEC held a number of meetings with local officials and residents. In response to the concerns expressed at these meetings and in other communications, DEC undertook a second review of the boat launch project and made changes to the plan. The second review included sampling lake depth out from and along the whole stretch of Lake George Beach.

Due to water depths and problems identified with other possible locations DEC once again concluded that the boat launch will be moved to the site at the eastern end of Lake George Beach. However, in response to the comments received, a number of modifications were made to the proposed design and operation of the boat launch, including:

  • The ramp location will be shifted west so that it will be 358 feet from the eastern shoreline of residences on Rose Point Lane;
  • The boat launch ramp is now oriented to point away from the eastern shoreline rather than straight out into the lake;
  • A 150-feet-wide navigation area will be marked with buoys to keep boats approximately 300 feet from the eastern shoreline;
  • The swimming area at DEC's Lake George beach will be shifted 100 feet west to provide sufficient separation from the boating navigation area; and
  • The boat launch will not operate 24 hours a day during the busy summer boating season.

DEC's decision to relocate and upgrade the boat launch so that boats can be launched and retrieved throughout the boating season is based on earlier studies that found boaters and local officials wanted additional public access to Lake George and boater's usage of the southeastern basin of the Lake was far below "comfortable carrying capacity." The 25-boat capacity planned for the boat launch will not exceed the "comfortable carrying capacity" for that portion of the lake.

Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Hunting and Fishing Initiative is an effort to improve recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen and to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state. This initiative includes the streamlining of hunting and fishing licensing and reducing license fees, improved access for fishing at various sites across the state, and increasing hunting opportunities in various regions.

In his 2014 Executive Budget, Governor Cuomo proposed creating 50 new land access projects. These projects will connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and others who enjoy the outdoors to more than 380,000 acres of existing state and easement lands that have gone untapped until now. These 50 new access projects include building new boat launches, installing new hunting blinds and building new trails and parking areas.

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