Lake Living: Ben Marshall

Ben Marshall in front of the boat inspection station at Dunhams Bay

MEET BEN!

Ben has always lived and worked in the Lake George area enjoying many of the amenities the Adirondacks has to offer. Ben, who grew up in Queensbury, enjoys going cliff jumping on Lake George and wake-boarding on Glen Lake. Currently Ben is a senior at Paul Smith’s College studying Ecological Restoration.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A BOAT INSPECTOR

An employee of the Lake George Park Commission, Ben plays an important role in keeping Lake George clean. For the past two years Ben has been at the forefront of the fight on Aquatic Invasive Species entering Lake George’s beautiful waters. Originally stationed at the Norowal Marina boat inspection station in Bolton Landing, Ben now works on the southern end of the lake at Dunhams Bay. The Lake George Park Commission’s motto “Arrive Clean, Drained, & Dry” basically sums up the guidelines that Ben follows when inspecting boats. “We use a Decontamination machine much like a really big pressure washer. I check the bilge for any old standing water and make sure it is removed. In addition, I also check the trims of the motors, anchor lines, trailers, and boat hulls to name a few things we pay attention to when looking for any invasive species they may have brought with them” Ben explained. If the boat Ben inspects meets all of the standards to enter the lake he then proceeds to tag the boat and record the launch with a little red park commission tag they attach to the boat for proof of inspection.

THE HARDEST PART OF BENS DAY

Out of the thousand’s of boats people trailer to Lake George not all of them meet the standards required to enter the lake. It is Ben’s job to decide and monitor what enters and leaves the lake. What he determines as unsafe or unsuited to enter the lake is what goes. “Often times when I do not pass a boat because of either zebra mussels or other invasive species like fishhook waterflees, the boats owner expresses their frustration towards me.” Said Ben. He went on to explain how it’s difficult for him because he understands how bad people want to get out on the water as he himself completely understands how enjoyable the lake is. However, Ben can not let the frustration and disappointment of boaters with unsafe vessels get to him because it’s his job to keep the lake clean and free of unwanted aquatic visitors.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BOAT INSPECTION STATIONS

Dunhams Bay boat inspection station is one of six inspection stations on the lake. The Lake George Park Commission implemented these stations around the lake as an effort to assist the Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention Program to help keep Lake George clean and its water clear and sparkling. Its hard working and caring people like Ben who are to thank for keeping the water that thousands of tourists, locals, and species inhabit clean and free of detrimental unwanted aquatic visitors.