Hats Off to Monitors!

Photo of LCC's Staff and Support Team on a dock taking their hats off to show appreciation for their volunteers.

Some of the LCC Team saluting monitors. Photo by Lisa Cicchetti, © Lake Champlain Committee.

Photo collage of women standing in a lake looking at the water in different weather conditions.

Monitors observed water quality through even the hottest and coldest days of this year’s 19-week season. In the photos above, volunteer Carol Crosby checks out conditions at Ransom Bay, in Alburgh, VT. In the photo on the left, she’s joined by her niece Sabina Perkins. It was Sabina―who monitors water quality in northern New York lakes for the US Geological Survey―who inspired Carol to join LCC’s program. Photos by Douglas Perkins and Cliff Crosby.

We weren’t sure how many people would turn out to monitor during a pandemic that required wearing a mask at public sites and quarantining for two weeks if traveling across state lines. But turn out they did! More than 160 community members signed up to check conditions at over 150 Lake Champlain and inland waterway locations during the 2020 season. They included returning veterans, first-timers, seasonal and year-round residents, couples, families, students, and friend groups. They took on more rigorous protocols, showed up virtually for training sessions via Zoom, and faithfully filed weekly reports.

In sun and rain, heat and cold—and despite the pandemic—monitors collectively filed more than 2,500 reports during this year’s 19-week season. The geographic breadth, weekly monitoring, and extent of the season all combine to make the program one of the most comprehensive cyanobacteria monitoring efforts in North America. “Our volunteer monitors are the heart and soul of the program,” stated LCC Executive Director Lori Fisher.

We are currently assessing results to compile an overview of the 2020 season (stay tuned) and planning for next year’s monitoring. If you’d like to help us expand coverage on Lake Champlain or an inland lake, or are interested in taking a training for educational purposes, please sign up here.

Deep thanks for standout efforts to 2020 monitors:
Lauren Adams, Jeff Allen, Lawson Allen, Sybille Anderson, David Andrews, Nancy Andrews, Jim Armbruster, Laura Asermily, Rick Baker, Julia Bamford, Janine Banks, Kelly Beerman, Marion Benevento, Peter Benevento, Jerri Benjamin, James Bennett, Jeanette Berry, Scott Bevins, Dana Bishop, Drew Bissell, Tim Bourne, Joe Brayden, Katherine Brewer, Cora Burkman, Jen Burkman, Sylvia Burkman, Gail Butz, Richard Butz, Lara Calfee, Gary Carlson, Al Carpenter, Frédéric Chouinard, Maureen Collins, Carol Crosby, Alfred Cumming, Joanne Cwikla, John Cwikla, Ann Dehner, Sandi Detwiler, Flora Dewar, Pierre Dillon, Patrick Dundas, Judy Dunnan, Susan Dunning, Mary Evslin, Kevin Farrar, Douglas Fletcher, Nathalie Fortin, Katie Fox, Sally Goddard, Brad Gooding, Adam Grundt, Fred Guffey, Karl Haloj, Carol Hanley, Elizabeth Harding, Christine Herrington, Meaghan Hickey, Colleen Hickey, Cathy Hickory, Margy Holden, David Holland, Phelps Holloway, John Holtz, Houston Illo, Suzy Johnson, Jeniah Johnson, Alec Kaeding, Kierstin Kemmerer, Lauren King, Doug Kiser, Marty Kiser, Jasmina Kokorovic, James Kurz, Monica Lalime, Steven Langevin, Josie Leavitt, Kathleen Lewis, Derick Lind, Merrily Lovell, Shannon MacGregor, Susan Maslack, Scott Wood, Laura Matuszak, Jon McBride, Bob McKearin, Mary McKearin, Andrew Milliken, Sandy Montgomery, MJ Mullowney, Sandy Murphy, Karen Neeson, Elisa Nelson, Clare O'Connor, Alison Parker, Bill Parkhill, Kloree Parks, Jenna Pastore, Doug Patterson,  Gretchen Patterson, Alice Mae Peabody, Don Peabody, Willard Peabody, Lauren Pellegrino, Dan Petherbridge, Sue Poirier, Ann Porter, Chip Porter, Benj Putnam, Cole Putnam, Fran Putnam, Spencer Putnam, Gail Rafferty, Lois Rawson, Rich Rawson, Mike Roach, Richard Robert, Alison Rogers, Amy Rohrman, Eliza Ruble, Erin Ruble, Christine Salembier, George Salembier, Richard Schnell, Craig Scott, Laurie Sedlmayr, Nobuko Sera-Kingsley, Brittany Seraphin, MacGregor Shannon, Sara Shea, Cathy Sheffield, Berney Skutel, R. Paul Smith, Cynthia Stacey, Randy Stacey, Michael Stahl, Veronica Stahl, Claire Stodola, Pamela Strohmeyer, Ken Sturm, Peggy Teillon, Perry Teillon, Lianna Tennal, Kevin Tolan, Cole Tretter, Pat Vana, Jeff van den Noort, Jim Van Hoven, Susan Vigsnes, Laura Weiskotten, Debra Welsh, Dan Wetzel, Greta White, Kiki White, Charlotte Williams, Sally Wilson, Chuck Woessner, Rachel Wood, Chip Wright, Jo Wright, and Carol Yarnell.

The Lake Champlain Committee's cyanobacteria monitoring program is funded by LCC members and the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP). Key program partners include LCBP, the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, Vermont Department of Health, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, New York Department of Health, and New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission. We are grateful to them all!