Recently, I wrote about the Adirondack Council asking the state to fund a wide-ranging study of water quality across the Adirondacks. (Speaking of the Council, it just hired someone away from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office to be its new vice president for conservation.)
I’ve been thinking about how much the public conversation is influenced by money — not just advertising and p.r., but money or lack of money for research.
Decades ago, money poured into the Adirondacks to research the causes of acid rain. When acid rain was waning, that money was understandably redirected elsewhere.
Some new money has come in, though. One of the more interesting sources of money for a while now is in large part thanks to Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy’s long-standing interest in protecting Lake Champlain. The interest shows up in the form of money to research the lake and its massive watershed, which includes the Saranac, Boquet and Ausable Rivers, as well as their headwaters in the Adirondacks.
Just look at two of the grants given out recently by one of Leahy’s beneficiaries, the Lake Champlain Basin Program:
- $49,961 to AdkAction to “strengthen its Clean Water, Safe Roads Partnership to reduce salt use within 17 Adirondack communities, providing technical assistance for municipal officials.” Background on road salt issues in the Adirondacks.
- $130,000 to the Ausable River Association to “use environmental DNA to detect Atlantic salmon and trout in the Boquet and Ausable Rivers.” Background on salmon restoration in the Boquet.
Editor’s note: This first appeared in Ry’s weekly “Water Line” newsletter. Sign up to keep current with water quality reporting from around the Adirondacks.
I have admired Pat Leahy since he was Burlington’s State Attorney. He is a fine human being. We could use a ninety-nine more people like him in the Senate. I don’t mean men and women of his party, but men and women of principles.
Ry, thank you for your article on Bats and “Batteries “.
Ry, I’m glad to hear funds are being allocated to improve the Lake Champain watershed. I just want to clarify that not all grants awarded by Lake Champlain Basin Program are for research. The grants will support projects across a number of categories– for example, the grant awarded to ADKAction it is for outreach and education, and other grants are to implement remediation practices.
Sen. Leahy has done so much to protect lands and waters in VT and beyond during his time in the Senate, from funding clean water efforts on Lake Champlain to designating Wilderness on the Green Mountain National Forest and developing the Northwest Forest Plan to save endangered species.