FISHERY COMMISSION FUNDING BOOSTS LCBP'S GRANT PROGRAM
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 http://www.lcbp.org/grants.htm.
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
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.
EDUCATORS IMMERSED IN
LAKE CHAMPLAIN WATERSHED ISSUES
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 email@example.com.
For further information about the Watershed for Every Classroom or our
CBEI teaching partners, visit http://www.lcbp.org/PDFs/WEC-2010-Application.pdf
Image: Educators raft
up on the LaPlatte River to discuss water quality and habitat
observations. Photo by LCBP.
HABITAT IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS UNDERWAY
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
design work for the removal of Upper Jay Reservoir Dam in Essex
County, NY (Ausable River Association)
Zack Woods in Hyde Park and Wolcott, VT (Trust for Public Land)
restoration of the Thorp Brook wetland complex (Lewis Creek
fish spawning areas and improving riparian habitat on the Lamoille
River (Lamoille County NRCD)
a wildlife habitat district overlay (Town of Williston)
culverts for aquatic organism passage and geomorphic stability in
the Potash Brook Watershed (South Burlington Stormwater Utility)
Halfway Brook habitat (Warren County Soil and Water Conservation
riparian habitat and residential buffers on Alder Brook (Friends of
and protecting nesting sites for Common Tern (Audubon Vermont)
fish and macroinvertebrate passage on the Browns River (Winooski
forested buffers on the Dog River (Northfield Conservation
riparian zones and wildlife corridors in the Upper Poultney River
Watershed (Poultney-Mettowee NRCD)
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.
OFFERS TO IMPLEMENT $400,000 IN POLLUTION PREVENTION GRANTS ON SOUTH LAKE
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 http://www.lcbp.org/research.htm
to learn more or to view a map of the eligible area.
exclusion fencing on the Lewis Creek, Vermont. Photo by LCBP.
BURLINGTON HIGH SCHOOL VIDEO GAMING CLUB SUPPORTS LAKE CHAMPLAIN
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!
South Burlington High School Video Gaming Club. Photo provided by
STEWARDS GREET THE PUBLIC AT BOAT LAUNCHES
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
Image: Stewards at regional training before the beginning of
the 2010 summer season. Photo by LCBP.
ALGAE SAMPLES COLLECTED BY CITIZENS AND SCIENTISTS
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 http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/bg_algae/weekly_status.aspx.
TO GREEN MOUNTAIN COFFEE ROASTERS!
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.
LOIS MCCLURE CARRIES AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES MESSAGES ALONG THE ERIE
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
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.
Main Office in Grand Isle:
(802) 372-3213 or (800) 468-5227 (toll-free in NY &
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.