News from Selected Category

World Water Day celebrates the importance of water around the world. In the Lake Champlain watershed we will be celebrating World Water Day on March 21, 2019 with a K-12 student contest! The contest will be hosted at the Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center in Burlington, VT. All student submissions of original art, videos, photography, and writing will be gathered for public viewing from 4:00 – 6:30 PM, awards will be given to winning submissions, and guest speaker Dr. Danielle Garneau, Associate Professor of Environmental Science at SUNY Plattsburgh, will present on “Plastics in Lake Champlain: How you can help”. 

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Biologists in Montpelier, VT question if a warm, dry fall is to blame for a drop in the Lake Champlain watershed’s landlocked salmon population – or whether there’s another reason. Salmon in the region have been declining for the past five years, and in 2018 their population was the lowest it’s been since 2009. 

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Recent public meetings were held to provide an update and get citizen input on the Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Flood Study which began in 2017 and will be completed in 2021. LCC’s Executive Director serves on the Public Advisory Group for the study. If you missed these meetings you can catch up on developments by watching the one held in Vermont online!  

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A mass die-off has caused many of the invasive alewife fish to wash up at Rossetti park just before New Year. Thousands of the tiny herring coated 100 square feet of the lake’s waterline. According to VT Fish and Wildlife fishery scientist Shawn Good, the die-off is the natural result of the alewife’s sensitivity to fluctuations in temperature. Colchester Sun.

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“PARCHMENT, Mich. — The day this small town told its residents to stop drinking the water, life on Glendale Boulevard turned from quiet to alarming.” For years calls for polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, to be federally regulated have gone unanswered. This summer one more small town paid the price. Washington Post.

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“Dr. Natalia Ivleva, a researcher with the Technical University of Munich (TUM), has developed new analytical methods for the identification and quantification of microplastic. In this interview, she shares her latest findings.” Environmental News Network.

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“Most people’s New Year’s resolutions are all about self-improvement: exercising more, saving money, learning new skills. This year, enlist your family in a group resolution: reducing your single-use plastic waste.” National Geographic. 

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Interested in Lake Champlain’s past, present and future? Sign up soon to join LCC at The Lake Between (Le lac qui nous unit) – an International Conference designed to bring together academics, business leaders, policy-makers, outdoor enthusiasts, boaters and swimmers, musicians and artists to talk about the lake. 

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Deep thanks to all our cyanobacteria monitors for their diligent work during the 2018 season. Many began assessing site conditions in mid-June and filed their final report 19 weeks later in mid-October. LCC monitors and our partners at the Vermont and New York Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation gathered data from nearly 150 sites in the Lake Champlain watershed and filed more than 1,800 reports about water conditions. 

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The New York Times - "A multimillion-dollar floating boom designed to corral plastic debris littering the Pacific Ocean deployed from San Francisco Bay on Saturday as part of a larger high-stakes and ambitious undertaking." 

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Water World  - "To rapidly detect the presence of E. coli in drinking water, Cornell University food scientists now can employ a bacteriophage - -a genetically engineered virus -- in a test used in hard-to-reach areas around the world."

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From July 18 to August 16, a stretch of 29 days, the daily high temperature in Burlington, Vermont never fell below 80 degrees F. The streak eclipsed the previous record for consecutive days over 80 by four days. Keep in mind, the streak of hot days began AFTER temperatures climbed into the 90s for six straight days earlier in July. During that heat streak the region set another record, the highest ever daily low temperature of 80 degrees.

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“This report helps the public to interpret information about the Lake using the best scientific data available. Lake managers use this information to develop and assess strategies for improving water quality in Lake Champlain,” said Dr. Eric Howe, LCBP Director. “In the 2018 report, we provide updated information on the many issues facing Lake Champlain.” 

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Stay up to date on water conditions on Lake Champlain and inland lakes with LCC’s weekly cyanobacteria reports. The report compiles and summarizes data collected from over 100 LCC monitoring sites in New York, Vermont and Quebec. It also includes helpful information on how to recognize and report cyanobacteria and actions to take to reduce bloom frequency.

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WCAX TV - The city recently installed new meters in the combined-sewage overflow pipes. The meters will show not only how much water overflows but what percentage is sewage versus stormwater.

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Seven Days - Founded in 2013, the Jefferson Project is turning Lake George into what it calls "the world's smartest lake," with the goal of better understanding, protecting and sustaining this crown jewel of the Adirondack region. The multimillion-dollar collaboration was named for Thomas Jefferson, who visited Lake George in 1791 and described it in a letter to his daughter as "without question, the most beautiful water I ever saw." 

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Avoid single-use items like plastic bottles, coffee cups and lids, cutlery, bags, plastic wrap, products with microbeads and microplastics and “free” gifts you don’t need. Read...

Vermont Legislators are deliberating on many measures that affect the health and future of our waterways. Let them know you want them to take action to protect and improve water quality. Updates on current bills and actions needed follow. Read...

We're gearing up for the summer monitoring season and are looking for people to report on water quality. LCC cyanobacteria monitors receive training to assess water conditions, visit the same site throughout the season and file a weekly online report from mid-June through the end of September.

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Protecting Lake Champlain's health is the shared responsibility of all of us who live in or visit the watershed.

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Vermont business, municipal, and environmental leaders came together in January to express shared support for long-term clean water funding via a parcel fee, and the establishment of a Clean Water Authority to collect and distribute those funds to on-the-ground clean water projects throughout the state. Groups endorsing the measure included the Lake Champlain Committee (LCC), Vermont Conservation Voters, Vermont Natural Resources Council, Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, Pomerleau Real Estate, and the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.

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In late December 2017, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a $65 million four-point initiative to aggressively combat harmful algal blooms (HABs) in Upstate New York waters. Twelve lakes that are vulnerable to HABs and are critical drinking water sources and vital tourism drivers were chosen as priority waterbodies. Lake Champlain and Lake George are two of the twelve that will receive greater focus. Lessons learned will be applied to other impacted waterbodies moving forward. Read...

President Trump's 2019 budget would again remove all EPA funding of cleanup programs for Lake Champlain, the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, Long Island Sound, San Francisco Bay, Puget Sound and South Florida, including the Everglades and Keys. Again, it's a short-sighted draconian move that will degrade freshwater resources and threaten public health and our economy. Read more here.

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“It appears the Vermont legislature will join Gov. Phil Scott in delaying again any decision on how to raise millions in new revenue to pay for Vermont's billion-dollar cleanup of its waterways. Environmental advocates and federal regulators are looking on with increasing concern."  

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Vermont officials' refusal to share their stormwater document leaves unanswered questions about how the state is — or isn’t — working toward its commitments on water quality. Read more in this Seven Days article that outlines the Lake Champlain Committee and VNRC’s request for answers. Read...

On average, synthetic fleece jackets release 1.7 grams of microfibers each wash, which equates to an average of 80,000 microfibers.

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As state legislatures struggle to take action on long-term funding for water protection and the Trump Administration proposes radical cuts to environmental programs, Doug Facey ponders the value of our lake. Doug is a longtime LCC member and professor of biology at St. Michael's College.

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LCC ECO AmeriCorps member and Education and Outreach Coordinator Dominic Brennan has spent several months conducting research and doing site visits at schools in New York and Vermont. The outreach is part of our School Stormwater Assessment Project funded through a grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program.

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The Open Space Institute (OSI) recently announced acquisition of shoreline property on Lake Champlain to enhance recreational boating and mountaintop hiking opportunities while protecting local water quality. Easily seen from western Vermont and the city of Burlington, the property also offers views of Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains to the east, and the Adirondack High Peaks to the north and west. The property features more than 4,000 feet of Lake Champlain frontage and is also the scenic backdrop to Schuyler Island, a renowned day trip for area kayakers and boaters.

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Every month, Vermont's Clean Water Initiative Program highlights a "Clean Water Superstar", species that help keep waters swimmable, drinkable, and fishable. A past entry was the Raphanus sativux L, the oilseed radish. Since it's gardening season we thought we'd highlight its benefits in the excerpt below.

You don't have to be a fan of a radish's spicy crunch to reap the benefits of planting them in your garden. Although edible, oilseed, tillage, daikon, or forage radish is more commonly used as a cover crop.

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