LCC Receives Citizen Scientist Award <br>for BGA Monitoring Program

LCC Executive Director Lori Fisher (L) accepts the Citizen Scientist Environmental Leadership Award for LCC from ECHO Development Director Kate Villa. Photo courtesy of Annette Smith.

We’re delighted to note that LCC’s Blue Green Algae monitoring program received the Citizen Scientist Green Mountain Environmental Award. The awards were created by ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center and FreePressMedia to recognize environmental stewards and their initiatives that have shaped, inspired, encouraged and supported successful and long-term leadership of Vermont’s rich and diverse natural environment. LCC’s monitoring program provides weekly input to health managers during the summer recreation season about the location, density, and persistence of algae blooms and algae toxins. The information helps public health managers make informed decisions about when and where algae blooms may require beach closings. The volunteers develop a greater knowledge of the lake and become resources within their community for anyone with questions about algae blooms. Additionally, the data gathered by volunteers is adding to the understanding of what triggers algae blooms so we’re better able to prevent them in the future.

“You and the Lake Champlain Committee have been vital to the preservation of our great Lake. The citizen volunteer algae monitoring program is just one example of decades of environmental leadership by LCC,” noted US Senator Patrick Leahy in a congratulatory letter to LCC Executive Director Lori Fisher. “Thank you for your many contributions.” LCC extends our deep appreciation to ECHO and FreePressMedia for the award and $1,000 cash prize to support our work and to our dedicated blue green algae citizen monitors and partner agencies. Hats off to Dr. Mary Watzin and Susan Fuller of the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont, Linda Boccuzzo of the Vermont Department of Health, Angela Shambaugh of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, and Bill Howland, Colleen Hickey, Eric Howe, Kathy Jarvis, and Meg Modley of the Lake Champlain Basin Program. There wouldn’t be a monitoring program without our dedicated group of “citizen scientists”. We applaud past and present volunteers Anne August, Jennifer Bowman, Jim and Sally Brabham, Catherine Brooks, Al Carpenter, Chris Case, Carson Cornbrooks, Ed and Joan Comolli, Deborah Diemand, Gerry Duprey, Marc Eisenhower, Ryan Garber, Lawrence Gillet, Dave Greenough, Sally Littlefield, Joan Louie, Bill Magnus, Bob Martell, Jon McBride, Gary Molinski, Jerry Morong, Bob Murphy, Nate Otis, Martha Perry, Keith Peterson, Larry and Jeannine Pratt, Mary Simmers, Mike Roach, Micah Rose, Stan Tuller, Mark Sweeney, Cheryl Ward, Doug Ward, and Albee Westover.