The Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) has announced that it will hire up to 10 seasonal Lake Champlain boat launch stewards to work at New York and Vermont public boat launch access areas this summer.
In 2014, the LCBP boat launch stewards surveyed 14,175 boats at Lake Champlain access sites. This will be the 9th season of boat launch stewards on Lake Champlain. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park may become the first region in New York State to have its own, integrated program to halt the spread of aquatic invasive species.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has asked the state legislature to appropriate $1 million to develop the Adirondack-wide strategy.
According to Morris Peters, a spokesman for the Division of the Budget, the money for the new initiative will come from an increase in appropriations to the Environmental Protection Fund. » Continue Reading.
The 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 (plan.lcbp.org).
The LCBP anticipates awarding more than 50 local grants totaling up to $650,000. Funding for these awards originates from the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and the National Park Service through agreements with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission. » Continue Reading.
The spiny water flea is the first aquatic invasive zooplankton to be confirmed in Lake Champlain, bringing the known number of nonnative and aquatic invasive species in Lake Champlain to 50.
Specimens were collected this August in the Main Lake segment of Lake Champlain as part of the Lake Champlain Long-term Biological Monitoring Program supported by the Lake Champlain Basin Program.
Sample analysis by the Lake Champlain Research Institute at SUNY Plattsburgh confirms multiple specimens from two different monitoring stations. Additional samples are being examined. » Continue Reading.
Recently the Warren County Soil & Water Conservation District received funding from the Lake Champlain Basin Program for a program called “Soil Savers”. The program is starting with a Conservation Celebration educational event, open to all on Saturday, April 26th from 9 am to 1 pm at Hovey Pond Park, 25 Lafayette Street in Queensbury.
Many people do not realize that Hovey Pond Park is part of the Lake Champlain Watershed since it is so close to the Hudson River. However, Halfway Brook flows north alongside Glenwood Ave. on the eastern side of the park and eventually enters the Champlain Canal in Fort Ann. » Continue Reading.
The Lake Champlain Basin Program will host two workshops focused on climate change adaptation on March 25-26, 2014 in Burlington, VT. The March 25th workshop will focus on stormwater management.
The March 26th workshop, held concurrently with the New England Association of Environmental Biologists (NEAEB) Annual Meeting, will focus on ecosystem impacts and aquatic invasive species threats to Lake Champlain. » Continue Reading.
The 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 about 50 local grants totaling $395,000 to a variety of projects form eduction, the environment, to the region’s heritage. Funding for these awards originates from the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and the National Park Service.
The deadline for submitting LCBP grant proposals is November 14, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. » Continue Reading.
The public, organizations, businesses, municipalities, and others interested in the plans for running an underwater power transmission line on the bottom of Lake Champlain from Canada to the southern end are invited to a Champlain Hudson Power Express Public Informational Meeting to learn more about this project and have an opportunity to ask questions.
Representatives from Transmission Developers Incorporated will be in Plattsburgh to provide an update on the current status of the project along with near- and long-term plans and timeframes for constructing this power line. Information on what this project might look like for Lake Champlain, the route of the power cable and how it will be installed, equipment needed for the installation, and time frames will be included in the discussions. Updates on progress to date including such items as approvals and permits, as well as, underwater surveying and mapping will be presented. » Continue Reading.
The Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) has released a new report, Flood Resilience in the Lake Champlain Basin and Upper Richelieu River. The report presents results of an LCBP flood conference held in 2012 at the request of Vermont Governor Shumlin and Quebec’s (former) Premier Charest, following the spring 2011 flooding of Lake Champlain and the Richelieu River Valley. The report provides a review of the 2011 flooding impacts and includes specific recommendations to help inform flood resilience policies and management strategies to reduce the impact of major floods anticipated in the future. » Continue Reading.
The Lake Champlain Basin Aquatic Invasive Species Rapid Response Task Force has issued an Action Plan that argues that control and eradication of spiny water flea in the Champlain and Glens Falls Feeder Canal are not technically feasible “in a rapid timeframe.”
The Task Force recommends immediate action to prevent the spread of spiny water flea into Lake Champlain by slowing the movement of spiny water flea through the canal systems, and development of a long term solution to address the Champlain Canal as a vector for all aquatic invasive species moving in and out of the Lake Champlain Basin. The Rapid Response Task Force strongly recommended pursuing a hydrologic barrier on the Champlain Canal that will address the other aquatic invasive species that are threatening to invade Lake Champlain. » Continue Reading.
The Lake Champlain Basin Program will be hosting the Lake Champlain Basin Flood Resilience Conference Monday, June 4th through Tuesday, June 5th at the University of Vermont. The results of this conference will provide Vermont, New York and Québec governments with technical and policy information about the flood events from Lake Champlain’s spring 2011 record high water level and tropical storm Irene last August. Speakers from all three jurisdictions will share their knowledge with researchers, government officials and the public.
Bill Howland, LCBP Program Manager noted, “This two day conference draws information from two technical workshops held in Quebec in February and New York in May.” Howland stated that many topics will be covered including flood response for rivers and lakeshores, emergency response, flood vulnerability assessment, as well as impacts to agriculture, and more. It is through the cooperative effort of many lake and river partners, including the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and the office of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, that this conference will be made possible. » Continue Reading.
Since 1992, the Champlain Basin Education Initiative (CBEI) has provided professional development opportunities for educators who wish to teach their students about the Lake Champlain watershed. More than 700 educators have participated in workshops and graduate courses offered through the CBEI partners. A new web resource, WatershED Matters, has now been developed to compile the knowledge and teaching strategies used by recent course participants. WatershED Matters is housed within the Lake Champlain Basin Program’s website on behalf of the CBEI partners. WatershED Matters features curriculum units and community projects currently being implemented by New York, Vermont and Québec educators. The CBEI partners expect the site to grow as educators suggest links to their favorite field trips and classroom resources for teaching about the Champlain basin.
“This resource tool has been in demand for several years by both teachers and the CBEI partners,” says Colleen Hickey, Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Lake Champlain Basin Program. “In recent years, nearly 40 educators have completed our eleven day watershed course and it’s great to be able to share what they’ve learned about the Lake, its tributaries and nearby resources.”
Champlain Basin Education Initiative partners currently include: the Lake Champlain Basin Program, Shelburne Farms, Lake Champlain Sea Grant-UVM Extension, ECHO at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, the Lake Champlain Committee, and curriculum coach Amy Demarest. Several New York groups have also assisted with educator outreach in the past year by implementing workshops about specific watershed topics.
Although water levels have finally dropped below flood stage on Lake Champlain this week, a Flood Warning remains in effect and facilities and businesses near low-lying shorelines continue to be heavily impacted by high waters.
The Ausable Point Campground remains closed, as is the campground access road. Many Valcour Island campsites and access points are still flooded and due to the high waters, floating docks have not been installed and bathrooms are closed at Peru Dock, Port Douglas, Willsboro Bay and other boat launches. Vermont closed all access to Lake Champlain except for Tabor Point, malletts Bay, Lamoille River, Converse Bay, and Larabee’s Point. Quebec closed all access and shut down boating to prevent further shoreline erosion due to wakes. » Continue Reading.
A series of remarkable photographs issued by the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) shows shoreline erosion and sediment and nutrient loading of Lake Champlain as a result of the flooding that continues to occur around the region. The lake has reached historic levels that have accelerated shoreline erosion and sent dark plumes that likely contain contaminants into open water.
The filling of historic wetlands, channeling streams and development along watersheds that empty into the lake have increased storm water run-off and added what is considered an unprecedented about of contaminants – pollution, nutrients and sediment – into the Lake Champlain ecosystem according to the LCBP. “While there will be time in the future for a careful assessment of the flooding of the many tributaries and of the Lake itself,” an LCBP press statement said, “it already is clear that the impact on water quality (in addition to the immediate human distress) will be very significant.”
Among water quality managers’ concerns is controlling run-off phosphorus pollution from household cleaning products and lawn fertilizers, believed critical to managing and reducing water pollution. Increased phosphorus pollution is linked to the growth of potentially toxic and economically disruptive algae blooms.
During unseasonably warm weather last July health warnings were issued in New York and Vermont for algae blooms in Lake Champlain (including some near Westport, Port Henry, and Crown Point). At the time health officials recommended avoiding all contact with the affected water including swimming, bathing, or drinking, or using it in cooking or washing, and to keep pets and livestock from algae-contaminated water.
The water quality issues come at a time when Plattsburgh is celebrating its 10th year of hosting professional fishing tournaments on Lake Champlain. According to Dan Heath, writing in the Press Republican, Plattsburgh has hosted more than 50 tournaments that included some 25,000 anglers since 2001. More than 3,000 bass anglers are expected for this year’s tournaments which together will offer $1,8 million in prizes. “Lake Champlain has earned a reputation as one of the best smallmouth bass fisheries in North America,” Heath wrote.
The tournament season will kick off withe the American Bass Angler’s Weekend Series on June 11th.
The Lake Champlain Basin Program has posted the aerial photos (taken on April 29-30, 2011) online; the photos are also linked to Google Maps. It’s likely a similar situation is occurring on many of the Adirodnack region’s lakes and reservoirs.
Photos: Above, sediment plume from the Ausable River and Dead Creek; Below, headland erosion and suspended sediment north of Mooney Bay. Photos courtesy the Lake Champlain Basin Program.
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