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Student Conservation Association Chazy Lake Interns in Arlington, Virginia

Chazy Lake Interns

Expected Dates

June 8, 2020toAugust 30, 2020


Chazy Lake Watershed Initiative

Position ID


The Chazy Lake Watershed Initiative (CLWI) is looking for two SCA interns who would be interested in helping a community based, non-profit organization rid a beautiful Adirondack Lake located in upstate New York of an invasive species called Eurasian Watermilfoil.The interns must possess the following qualifications/skills:- Minimum of 18 years old.- Strong swimming skills.- Comfortable working under water (SCUBA certification is not necessary, but would be a plus).- Mechanically inclined.- Hard worker.- Responsible.- Reliable.- Self-starter.- Tenacious.- Problem solver.- Able to work independently without supervision.- Accountable.- Personable.The dates of service are: 6/8/20 to 8/28/20 (12 weeks). The work days is: 8am to 5pm (M-F) with a one-hour lunch break and make-up weather days on the weekends. CLWI will provide living accommodation on Chazy Lake free of charge. The interns will be responsible for obtaining their own meals.What is the Chazy Lake Watershed Initiative?The Chazy Lake Watershed Initiative (CLWI) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) entity, which was formed in 2015 to protect and preserve Chazy Lake for future generations.For more information about CLWI, check out: www.chazylake.orgWhat is Eurasian Watermilfoil?Eurasian watermilfoil (or its scientific name, myriophyllum spicatum) is native to Europe, Asia, and north Africa. It is a submerged aquatic plant and grows in still or slow-moving water. In lakes or other aquatic areas where native aquatic plants are not well established, milfoil can quickly spread. It has been known to crowd out native plants and create dense mats that interfere with recreational activity. Dense growth of milfoil can also have a negative impact on fisheries by creating microhabitats for juvenile fish and obstructing space for larger fish ultimately disrupting normal feeding patterns. Due to milfoil’s inability to provide the same microhabitat for invertebrates as compared to native aquatic plant species, densely populated areas of milfoil create an ecosystem with less food sources for the surrounding fish. Dense milfoil growth can also create hypoxic zones by blocking out sun penetration to native aquatic vegetation preventing them from photosynthesizing. Milfoil grows primarily from broken off stems, known as shoot fragments, which increases the rate at which the plant can spread and grow.What is DASH?Diver-Assisted Suction Harvesting (DASH) is the extraction of plants using a diver, suction tube, a unique set of pumps mounted on a boat, and a bagging or filtration system. Suction harvesting is a viable means of plant suppression because the entire plant is removed, including its connective rooting system.For more information about DASH, check out:​In 2015, concerned citizens formed an organization called the Chazy Lake Watershed Initiative (CLWI). CLWI is a non-profit, 501(c)3, entity that represents the entire Chazy Lake Watershed. As a non-profit organization, CLWI is eligible to receive tax deductible donations and grants to assist in achieving its goals.The primary objective of CLWI is to protect and preserve Chazy Lake for future generations. Many of the individuals who are members of CLWI have been living on/enjoying the Lake for more than 50 years. During the past few decades, our members have identified troubling trends that provide substantial concern that the quality of our once pristine lake is deteriorating.CLWI seeks to work with its local government, property owners, visitors, and other stakeholders to proactively address the issues that threaten Chazy Lake and its aquatic inhabitants.Chazy Lake is located in the Town of Dannemora. The Lake is approximately 3.5 miles long by 1 mile wide, with a maximum depth of 72 feet. The littoral zone of the Lake extends to a depth of approximately 19 feet. The water level of Chazy Lake is controlled by a town-owned dam located on the north end of the Lake. Chazy Lake has had various dams in place since the late 1800s. The dams have raised the level of the Lake about 12 feet. The current concrete-faced dam was built in 1923 and upgraded in 2001. The dam is capable of lowering the water level of the Lake between 8 and 12 feet.One of the biggest challenges currently facing Chazy Lake is Eurasian watermilfoil. Milfoil was first detected in the Lake in the 1980s, and its existence was officially verified by the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) in 2006. Today, milfoil can be found throughout the Lake.In 2008, Larry Eichler of the Darrin Fresh Water Institute (DFWI) conducted an aquatic vegetative survey and concluded that the Lake was significantly infested with milfoil. For the past eight years, CLWI has been combating the spread of milfoil through periodic drawdowns of the Lake via its dam. The Town of Dannemora is currently drawing down the Lake 2.5 feet on a three-year cycle. The Lake was lowered during the winters of 2011/12, 2014/15, and 2017/18, and we are scheduled to drawdown the Lake again during the winter of 2020/21. In cooperation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the drawdowns do not begin until September 15th, and the water is raised back to its normal level no later than April 1st. The majority of the milfoil in the Lake exists between a depth of 3 to 10 feet.After each drawdown, and with the financial support of the Town of Dannemora, CLWI has engaged DFWI to conduct an aquatic vegetative survey of the Lake to ensure that the drawdowns are having their intended effect. These surveys have concluded that the drawdowns have worked, as the quantity of shallow-water milfoil has been reduced without impacting the native species. The next vegetative survey of the Lake is will occur during the summer of 2021, after the 2020/21 drawdown.CLWI is seeking to augment its drawdowns through the use of DASH of the Lake’s deep-water milfoil.

  • Location Description

Chazy Lake, New York.

  • Training Provided

The SCA member will be trained in the use of a Diver-Assisted Suction Harvesting (DASH) equipment.

  • Educational/Recreational Opportunities

The SCA member will have the opportunity to be educated about numerous issues that affect the health and well-being of an Adirondack lake. Recreational opportunities are unlimited, including swimming, boating, hiking, fishing, sailing, and much more.

Main Area of Focus

Wildlife Mgmt

Education, Training & Skills Expected


some coursework or experience


some experience


some experience

Community Engagement

some experience

Plant Identification

some experience


competent without supervision

Further Details

AmeriCorps Eligible


Driving Logistics

Valid Drivers License Needed

Personal Vehicle Required

The member will need to drive approximately 5 miles to work each day.

Housing or Stipend Provided?


A resident of Chazy Lake has offered his detached, lakeside bungalow as living quarters for the SCA members during their internship.Please send uniform package by UPS or FedEx!!



US Citizenship

Not Required