Onward to Whitehall, NY

Eco-disinfectant wash

The R/V David Folger stayed at the Schuylerville Boat Basin last night. Coming up through the Champlain canals has been interesting but a challenge, because water levels in the canal are lower than usual. Another major issue is that of invasive species within the Hudson River and the canal system. Middlebury College takes pride in being a good steward of the environment and had the Folger’s hull finished with a paint that deters hitch-hiking plant and animal species. Zebra mussels beware! Yesterday the Folger had quite an encounter with the aquatic invasive water chestnut, and the crew had to take extra time and extreme care in removing this plant material from the hull, hydrofoil, and propellers of the vessel. Today the Folger stopped in Fort Edwards and had an eco-disinfectant wash-down to mitigate the chance of bringing in a new invasive species threatening Lake Champlain: the spiny water flea.¬† Currently there are no mandatory cleaning requirements for the spiny water flea; however, we consulted with Senator Leahy’s office, the Vermont State Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife, and a state water toxicologist to develop a cleaning protocol, which included pressure washing the entire boat structure and disinfecting all bilges, lines, and mats. After a three-hour cleaning, the vessel is once again moving up the canal to¬†Whitehall, NY: the birthplace of the US Navy and the southern limit of Lake Champlain. Tomorrow a long-anticipated event takes place: the Folger will finally arrive in Lake Champlain and will be home at last.

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