Monday, June 5, 2017

LCC Seeking Cyanobacteria Monitors for the 2017 Season

cyanobacteriaThe Lake Champlain Committee (LCC) is recruiting citizens interested in water quality to serve as cyanobacteria (aka blue-green algae) monitors for Lake Champlain and select inland Vermont lakes. LCC will host training sessions in early June for new and returning monitors. The program provides critical data on where and when algae blooms are happening and is relied on by health, environmental and recreation agencies to keep people informed about lake conditions.

LCC initiated the citizen-based near-shore monitoring program in 2003 and has steadily expanded the network of trained volunteers and monitoring sites every year. During the 2016 season LCC monitors submit nearly 1,200 reports from over 100 sites on Lake Champlain and several inland lakes. The focus of the cyanobacteria monitoring program is to raise awareness of the issue, build a database of information on bloom frequency, and identify and publicize potential health hazards.

Citizen monitoring reports are vetted by LCC and environmental partners and then relayed to local, regional, state and provincial environmental, health and recreation staff. Weekly results from locations around Lake Champlain and select inland lakes are posted on a cyanobacteria data tracker map hosted by the Vermont Department of Health and accessible to anyone with internet access. The data tracker will go live the first week of the 2017 monitoring season.

The Lake Champlain Committee will host training sessions in New York and Vermont for citizens interested in serving as monitors or wanting to learn more about water quality. The presentations will last about an hour and a half and provide background about cyanobacteria, guidance on how to differentiate it from other lake phenomena, instructions for assessing water conditions, and actions to take to reduce blooms. The training sessions are free and open to the public but pre-registration is requested via this online form.

LCC Public Cyanobacteria Monitor Training Sessions
Tuesday, June 6 at 9 am
Shelburne Town Offices
5420 Shelburne Road, Shelburne, VT

Tuesday, June 6 at 1 pm
Lake Champlain Basin Program
54 West Shore Road, Grand Isle, VT

Tuesday, June 6 at 4 pm
Lake Champlain Committee Office
208 Flynn Avenue, Building 3, Studio 3F, Burlington, VT

Wednesday, June 7 at 9 am
Kingsland Bay State Park
Holly House Stone House
787 Kingsland Bay, St Park Rd, Ferrisburgh, VT

Wednesday, June 7 at 12:30 pm
Noblewood Park
96 Noblewood Park, Willsboro, NY

Wednesday, June 7 at 3 pm
Plattsburgh Public Library
19 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, NY

Thursday, June 8 at 10 am
Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge
29 Tabor Road, Swanton, VT

Thursday, June 8 at 1 pm
Lake Champlain Basin Program
54 West Shore Road, Grand Isle, VT

Thursday, June 8 at 6 pm
Lake Champlain Committee Office
208 Flynn Avenue, Building 3, Studio 3F, Burlington, VT

Tuesday, June 13 at 10 am
Lake Champlain Committee Office
208 Flynn Avenue, Building 3, Studio 3F, Burlington, VT

The 2017 cyanobacteria monitoring season begins the week of June 18 and runs through at least Labor Day with as many monitors as possible continuing to collect data until the end of September. Once trained, the actual monitoring takes about 15 minutes plus the time to get to and from the site and file an online report. Participants must attend a training session, have weekly access to the same shoreline location (either public or private) and be able to file timely online reports. Swift reporting is critical, especially if a bloom is observed in order to get information out to the public. Individuals who are interested in staying informed about water conditions but can’t commit to monitoring can sign up to receive a weekly email compiling results from all LCC monitoring locations.

For more information about the cyanobacteria monitoring program, contact the Lake Champlain Committee (LCC), 208 Flynn Avenue, Building 3, Studio 3F, Burlington, VT 05401 at (802) 658-1414 or

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