This paper examines the environmental history of Lower St. Regis Lake (Franklin County, NY), the historic location of the Paul Smith’s Hotel and the present day site of Paul Smith’s College. Using water quality and fiisheries data collected by students, faculty, and environmental professionals, this article examines ecological changes that have taken place in the lake during the last 50 years. An analysis of lake-bottom sediments also reaches farther back in time to show what Lower St. Regis might have been like long before Paul Smith arrived. The story illustrates the effects of massive loading of phosphorus on water quality, places the lake within the context of the environmental awakening of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and chronicles steps that have been taken move Lower St. Regis Lake from a state of degradation toward “ecological redemption.



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