Erin Stretz, Assistant Director of Science at The Watershed Institute, was a featured panelist, at the 8th Annual Adirondack Champlain Regional Salt Summit, on October 3, 2023, contributing to a discussion on “Engaging Stakeholders and Businesses.” The summit was presented by the Lake George Association (LGA), which has been pioneering a comprehensive road salt reduction strategy that combines community partnerships, technological innovation, and direct investment. Their approach not only safeguards water bodies but also leads to substantial cost savings for taxpayers and businesses.
Erin leads the NJ Watershed Watch Network, a program of The Watershed Institute, that empowers individuals and groups to actively participate in salt monitoring through the NJ Salt Watch initiative. Participants in this program receive test strips, enabling them to collect valuable stream data. This crowd-sourced data will ultimately serve as a vital resource for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in supporting Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for salt levels across the state.
Currently, approximately 300 dedicated individuals are part of the NJ Salt Watch program, actively collecting data from approximately 1,100 data points. These participants represent a diverse range of stakeholders, including environmental commissions, green teams, and concerned individuals, all contributing their efforts towards preserving the environment.
The 8th Annual Adirondack Champlain Regional Salt Summit saw active participation from across the United States, with representatives from public works departments, municipal authorities, the private sector, large corporations, and environmental organizations hailing from 15 different states. This diverse gathering demonstrates the widespread recognition of the importance of road salt reduction.