LCBP Casin' the Basin E-News


August 2010 | Issue #13

In This Issue

$840k in Grants Released

CBEI Educator Training

Habitat Improvement Projects

Farm Pollution Prevention Grants

Local Club Supports Lake

Lake Stewards

Blue-green Algae

Winooski River Cleanup

Lois McClure on the Erie Canal


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This week LCBP released several requests for proposals, seeking to award up to $840,000 in local pollution prevention, aquatic invasive species spread prevention, and education grants. Funding for the grants comes through the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency. The amount of the grant awards for pollution prevention and aquatic invasive species grants has increased to $25,000 this year and education grants will be capped at $7,500. Small organizational support grants for local watershed groups also are included in this grant round. The deadline to submit proposals is October 7, 2010. For further information, log onto


Through the effort of Senator Patrick Leahy, the LCBP and the US Fish and Wildlife Service Lake Champlain Office will receive over six million dollars to be allocated over the next three years to improve water quality and fish and wildlife habitat within the Lake Champlain ecosystem. Our next E-News will provide more detail on these projects.


Image: Beth Card, NEIWPCC Director of Water Quality, signs the Great Lakes Fishery Commission MOU, with Senator Leahy and James Geiger of the US Fish and Wildlife Service looking on.  Marc Gaden of the GLFC and Curt Spalding of the US EPA were also present. Photo by LCBP.



Eight educators completed five days of watershed training in July. From learning about the geologic formation of the Basin atop Mt. Philo with UVM professor Char Mehrtens to boating through the great blue heron rookery in the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge, these educators explored the complexities of the Lake Champlain ecosystem. Using watershed issues -- whether water quality, habitat or cultural heritage -- participants will incorporate outdoor learning and a sense of place into their classroom lessons over the next year. Six training days remain in this five-credit graduate course offered by the Champlain Basin Education Initiative (CBEI) partners. In October, educators will focus on water quality monitoring along the AuSable River in New York.

For further information about 2011 educator professional development opportunities, contact Colleen Hickey at For further information about the Watershed for Every Classroom or our CBEI teaching partners, visit


Image: Educators raft up on the LaPlatte River to discuss water quality and habitat observations. Photo by LCBP.





Local watershed partners received grants up to $10,000 each from the LCBP to help restore and protect Basin wetlands, streams and riparian habitats this summer. Senator Patrick Leahy secured 2009 funding through the Great Lakes Fishery Commission for these projects which address habitat connectivity and habitat improvement priorities identified in Opportunities for Action, Lake Champlain's long-term management plan.


The projects include:

  • Completing design work for the removal of Upper Jay Reservoir Dam in Essex County, NY (Ausable River Association)
  • Conserving Zack Woods in Hyde Park and Wolcott, VT (Trust for Public Land)
  • Habitat restoration of the Thorp Brook wetland complex (Lewis Creek Association)
  • Mapping fish spawning areas and improving riparian habitat on the Lamoille River (Lamoille County NRCD)
  • Developing a wildlife habitat district overlay (Town of Williston)
  • Assessing culverts for aquatic organism passage and geomorphic stability in the Potash Brook Watershed (South Burlington Stormwater Utility)
  • Enhancing Halfway Brook habitat (Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District)
  • Restoring riparian habitat and residential buffers on Alder Brook (Friends of the Winooski)
  • Restoring and protecting nesting sites for Common Tern (Audubon Vermont)
  • Improving fish and macroinvertebrate passage on the Browns River (Winooski NRCD)
  • Planting forested buffers on the Dog River (Northfield Conservation Committee)
  • Inventorying riparian zones and wildlife corridors in the Upper Poultney River Watershed (Poultney-Mettowee NRCD)
  • Building regional capacity for wildlife connectivity projects in Southern Lake Champlain (Wildlife Conservation Society of the Adirondacks)

For further information on these projects, contact the LCBP at (802) 372-3213.





The LCBP is providing up to $400,000 for projects in areas of NY and VT that drain into Lake Champlain south of the former Crown Point Bridge location. These projects must support reducing phosphorus pollution into Lake Champlain, as outlined in the LCBP long-term management plan, Opportunities for Action. Funding for this project originates from the Lake Champlain Mitigation Funds paid by the American Electric Power Company as a result of a court-ordered settlement and provided to the LCBP by the Attorneys General of New York and Vermont. This unique opportunity will help reduce agricultural pollution draining into Lake Champlain.
Proposals from eligible applicants are due at the LCBP office by October 7, 2010. Visit to learn more or to view a map of the eligible area.


Image: Livestock exclusion fencing on the Lewis Creek, Vermont. Photo by LCBP. 





Thanks to the South Burlington High School Video Gaming Club for completing a fundraising event for Lake Champlain. The LCBP will use this support on a youth outreach project within the watershed! 

 Image: South Burlington High School Video Gaming Club. Photo provided by Club.





Eight LCBP boat launch stewards are working the shores of Lake Champlain this summer. The stewards are on the Lake from Memorial Day to Labor Day at launch sites between Ticonderoga, NY and St. Albans, VT. They are trained by the LCBP and the Paul Smith's College Watershed Institute to provide invasive species spread prevention messages to the public and to collect boat launch use information. Stewards staff high-use sites on the heaviest recreational use days. Their efforts support our outreach initiatives to reduce aquatic invasive species infestations in the Lake Champlain Basin and inform the public about spread prevention. Several Lake Champlain fishing tournaments also request outreach assistance during tournaments. If you see a lake steward wearing a yellow shirt at the boat launch, please say hello!

The LCBP cooperates with the steward programs at Paul Smith's, the VT DEC, and Lake George which support stewards at a number of inland lakes. This year, the LCBP also funded a river steward position with the Ausable River Association. This seasonal staff member is working with river users and anglers along the Ausable, Boquet and Saranac Rivers, and at visitor bureaus and angler shops to inform them about Didymo, New Zealand Mudsnail, VHS and other invasive species spread prevention techniques.


Image: Stewards at regional training before the beginning of the 2010 summer season. Photo by LCBP.





The LCBP is continuing to fund the blue-green algae monitoring program on Lake Champlain this summer. Water samples are collected by the Lake Champlain long term monitoring program, the University of Vermont and the Lake Champlain Committee and tested for the presence of blue-green algae at the UVM Rubenstein Laboratory. If large quantities of blue-green algae are present, the samples are analyzed at the UVM Rubenstein Lab or the Vermont state lab in Waterbury to see if they are producing toxins. Since 2000, the LCBP has provided significant funding and guidance for blue-green algae monitoring through our US Environmental Protection Agency allocation. Dr. Mary Watzin, Dean of the Rubenstein School at the University of Vermont, coordinates this program and leads the deep-water sampling program and analysis effort. The Lake Champlain Committee leads the near-shore citizen sampling program. It's important to analyze data from both deep water and shallow portions of the lake, especially since swimmers are more likely to come into contact with the algae along the shoreline.

Monitoring blue-green algae densities and toxin concentrations in Lake Champlain provides timely information to public health officials in VT, NY and QC. Check out the Vermont Department of Public Health website which uses the data to post weekly updates about health alerts for water users at





More than 175 employees of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters got quite grimy last week, plucking trash out of the Winooski River for five days. Their teams dodged thunderstorms while filling canoes each morning and afternoon with milk cans, chairs, shopping carts, tires and lots of other special treasures. Thank you GMCR for your diligent efforts and for inviting the LCBP, Friends of the Winooski, American Rivers Conservancy and others to join your effort last week!


Image: GMCR employees and friends haul scrap metal and even a couch from the river. Photo by LCBP.





The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum's Lois McClure, a replica 1862-class canal schooner, departed on Our Shared Heritage World Canals Tour from Basin Harbor, VT on July 21st. Our Shared Heritage voyage interprets the shared heritage of the Champlain Valley and the lake and canalside communities of New York, Vermont and Quebec. More than 150,000 people have boarded the vessel since it was launched in 2004. Working with the National Park Service, the LCBP is providing financial support to the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum's journey of the Lois McClure to Rochester, NY this summer. LCBP outreach staff will assist the crew during the World Canals Conference in Rochester, NY September 19-24th by sharing invasive species spread prevention and Lake Champlain information with visitors.

Demonstrating the region's efforts to reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species, the crew of the Lois McClure scrubbed the bottom of thevessel below waterline while docked in Schuylerville, NY. Before continuing along the Champlain Canal, LCMM wanted to insure that no new aquatic invasive species were transferred from Lake Champlain to Hudson River drainage. The crew plans to scrub the Lois on its journey back to Lake Champlain as well.  Way to go crew!


Image: Lois McClure docked in Amsterdam, NY. Photo by Tom Larsen.





LCBP LogoMain Office in Grand Isle:


54 West Shore Road

Grand Isle, VT 05458

(802) 372-3213 or (800) 468-5227 (toll-free in NY & VT)


LCBP Resource Room: The Resource Room at The Leahy Center for Lake Champlain (top floor of ECHO Lake Aquarium & Science Center) is open to the public seven days/week. Call (802) 864-1848 ext. 109 for more information.