Adirondack lakes turning browner … but in a good way

Water scooped from Twitchell Lake in the western Adirondacks shows a tint from matter in surrounding wetlands — a sign of what researcher Paul Bukaveckas says is recovery from former acidity. “Notice that it is not murky, just stained,” he says. Photo courtesy of Paul Bukaveckas

By Ry Rivard

When Paul Bukaveckas was first studying the effects of acid rain on Adirondack lakes in the late 1980s, he came across some stunning sights.

On Silver Lake, the namesake of the Silver Lake Wilderness in the southern Adirondacks, he remembers sitting in a boat and being able to see all the way to the bottom of the lake, down some 60 feet.

When he returned a few years ago, the lake was not so clear.

That’s a good thing.

One of the surprising effects of Adirondack waters’ recovery from acid rain is that they are becoming a bit browner.

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