Thursday, September 29, 2016

Lake Champlain Basin Program Seeks Grant Proposals

lake champlain basin programThe Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) is seeking proposals for local grants to support the implementation of the long-term management plan for Lake Champlain Opportunities for Action.

The LCBP anticipates awarding more than 50 grants totaling more than $750,000 dollars. U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont was instrumental in securing funding for these awards, which originates from the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission through agreements with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission.

The Lake Champlain Basin Program’s 2016 Local Implementation Grant categories include:

Grant Applications due October 27, 2016:
· Education and Outreach Grants (up to $10,000 per award),
· Organizational Support Grants (up to $4,000 per award)

Grant Applications due December 15, 2016:
· Pollution Prevention & Habitat Conservation Grants (up to $20,000 per award),
· Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention Grants (up to $15,000 per award)

Grant guidelines and applications for each category are found on the Lake Champlain Basin Program’s website. Volunteer peer reviewers will evaluate and rank the proposals, and will develop the funding recommendations for the Lake Champlain Steering Committee to consider.

LCBP’s local grant program is a key component of its work to coordinate and fund efforts that benefit the Lake Champlain Basin’s water quality, fisheries, wetlands, wildlife, recreation, and cultural resources. Since 1992, LCBP has awarded more than $7.3 million to more than 1,000 projects in New York and Vermont. Past projects include:

· The Lake George Association Floating Classroom educated 2,412 students, residents, and visitors of Lake George about watershed ecology and water quality issues through practical activities, including using Secchi disks to measure water clarity and plankton nets to collect zooplankton.

· The Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District installed habitat enhancement structures in and along Warren County’s ponds and tributaries to improve and enhance wildlife habitat, including native bank plantings, amphibian habitat structures, fish habitat and passage augmentation and migratory bird structures.

· Students at St. Albans City School, located within the critically impaired St. Albans Bay watershed, helped design and implement a bio-retention rain garden to mitigate runoff and pollution, and reduce erosion from a heavily used parking lot. The project involved students in every phase of the process, including meeting with environmental engineers, assessing the site, designing the bio-retention garden, choosing the specific plants, planting and maintaining the garden, and communicating about the project with community members and the local media.

· In an effort to stem the adverse effects of road salt on aquatic habitat, the Lake Champlain-Lake George Regional Planning Board (LCLGRPB) held a Municipal De-Icing Best Management Practices Forum in Lake George. The purpose of the forum was to educate state, county, and local highway crews on improved winter road maintenance techniques and activities.

· The Lake Eden Association operated the Educational Greeter and Volunteer Invasive Patrollers Program at three public boat launches, informing boaters about the threats posed by aquatic invasive species and conducting 1,369 courtesy inspections of boats to ensure that no invasive species were transported into the lake or to another water body.

For further information about these grant opportunities or to obtain hard copies of the guidelines and applications, contact the Lake Champlain Basin Program office, 54 West Shore Road, Grand Isle, VT 05458 or call at (802) 372-3213 or call (800) 468-5227.

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