$450,000 AVAILABLE THROUGH LCBP GRANT PROGRAMS:
PROPOSALS DUE 3/27
The LCBP is pleased to announce the 2012 Local
Implementation Grant programs. The LCBP anticipates awarding more than
40 grants, designed to help implement Opportunities for
Action: An Evolving Plan for the Future of the Lake Champlain Basin.
Project categories include pollution prevention, aquatic invasive
species spread prevention, shoreline restoration and habitat
improvement, and education and outreach initiatives. Funds have been
made available to the LCBP through the efforts of Senator Patrick
Leahy and other members of the Vermont and New York Congressional
Delegation, from the International Great Lakes Fishery Commission
and the US Environmental Protection Agency. Maximum grant awards,
depending on the category, will range from $7,500 to $15,000.
VYCC workers construct a bridge as part of a grant
awarded to the Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District
for erosion control. Photo courtesy of VYCC.
Since 1992, the LCBP has awarded 784 local grants
totaling nearly $4.8 million dollars in partnership with the EPA,
the International Great Lakes Fishery Commission, and the National
Park Service. Not-for-profits, municipalities, and educational
institutions are encouraged to apply for the 2012 funds. In the
most recent grant round, projects ranged from wetland restoration
to stormwater detention to field based programs demonstrating the
potential impact of shoreline development. Abstracts from past
local grant projects funded through the Lake Champlain Basin
Program appear in LCBP's searchable grant database at http://www.lcbp.org/grant_search.aspx.
For further information about grant criteria and
guidelines, visit www.lcbp.org/grants.htm
or contact the Lake Champlain Basin Program office at (802)
372-3213 or call (800) 468-5227. Local implementation proposals must be
submitted by March 27 at 4:30 p.m. to the LCBP
office located at 54 West Shore Road, Grand Isle, Vermont.
PHOSPHORUS CRITICAL SOURCE AREA REPORT FOR MISSISQUOI BAY
December 2011, the LCBP announced the release of the report
"Identification of Critical Source Areas of Phosphorus within
the Vermont Sector of the Missisquoi Bay Basin." Prepared under
an LCBP contract to consultant Stone Environmental, this
two-year-long effort will be instrumental in identifying and managing
nutrient runoff in a bay that consistently has among the highest
concentrations of phosphorus in Lake Champlain.
sediment and nitrogen loads to the Bay are also a concern, phosphorus
concentrations at times significantly exceed target levels
established by Québec and Vermont. Phosphorus, which is linked to
unsightly and potentially toxic blue-green algae blooms in the bay,
is attributed to both urban and rural land uses throughout the Lake
Champlain Basin. The project employed a Soil and Water Assessment
Tool (SWAT) model to identify phosphorus loading at several
scales--including down to the individual farm field--in the
predominantly rural Missisquoi River basin.
Sixty-four percent of upland phosphorus loading to
Missisquoi Bay can be attributed to agricultural lands.
project produced some striking findings. As much as 60% of the total
phosphorus load in the Missisquoi River can be attributed to upland
sources; the remaining 40% is largely attributed to stream bank
erosion. Approximately 20% of the upland watershed area
contributes as much as 75% of the phosphorus loading to the tributary
network. Land use analysis illustrates the disproportionate
contributions of some land uses in this watershed. Agricultural land
uses represent approximately 17% of the land area in the Missisquoi
Bay basin, but contribute 64% of the upland phosphorus load into the
project was conducted to address a 2008 reference to the
International Joint Commission (IJC) by the governments of the United
States and Canada to examine the most critical sources of phosphorus
loading to the Missisquoi Bay. Through the efforts of Senator Patrick
Leahy, the U.S. Congress appropriated a total of $800,000 to support
the project. The LCBP established a program of short-term tributary
monitoring to support the work and organized the acquisition of LiDAR
elevation data. LCBP contracted to Stone Environmental to conduct the
SWAT modeling, which was patterned after recent advances made by the
Province of Québec in identifying critical sources of phosphorus. The
International Joint Commission convened public meetings in Swanton,
Vermont and St. Armand, Quebec to share the results with
stake-holders on both sides of the border.
information about these IJC-funded LCBP projects, including reports,
approved deliverables, and relevant datasets can be found on the LCBP
website at www.lcbp.org/ijc.htm.
LCBP WELCOMES ELIZABETH LEE NEWMAN
recently welcomed Elizabeth Newman to the organization. Elizabeth
will be working as a member of the Education and Outreach team. She
is looking forward to applying her background in communications and
design to help promote a better understanding of the Basin among
residents and visitors. Elizabeth lives in the Islands and enjoys the
lake and its many moods. Welcome Elizabeth!
CVNHP COMMEMORATES WAR OF 1812 IN THE CHAMPLAIN VALLEY
In 2012, the
communities in the Champlain Valley will commemorate the bicentennial
of the War of 1812. While sometimes overlooked in the rich history of
North America, the War of 1812 solidified the United States' status
as a sovereign nation, spurred Canadian nationalism, and set the
stage for the modern American political system. A decisive American
victory at the Battle of Plattsburgh on September 11, 1814 ended a
British invasion, marked the last naval battle of the conflict, and
gave the United States a stronger standing in negotiating the peace
treaty that ended the war.
To launch the commemoration of these events, the Champlain Valley
National Heritage Partnership (CVNHP) unveiled the War of 1812
Interpretive Trail just prior to the Battle of Plattsburgh Weekend
last September. The CVNHP worked with partners in New York and
Vermont to develop a series of bilingual (English and French)
interpretive signs to provide a better understanding of the conflict
and its legacy. Wayside exhibits interpret the British land invasion
from Québec, including locations of the Army's encampments, various
headquarters, and field hospitals. Additional interpretive signs
describe the land skirmishes between the King's troops and American
forces. Other exhibits interpret the U.S.S. Saratoga, the survey of
the U.S./Canadian border following the war, and the lives of
African-Americans involved in the events of the time.
Bilingual wayside exhibit for the decisive Battle of
The Interpretive Trail highlights the significance of the War of 1812
in the "Making of Nations"--one of three interpretive
themes that are at central to the CVNHP's work in building
appreciation and improving stewardship of the region's natural and
cultural resources. The CVNHP provided translation and design
assistance and production of interpretive signs--an estimated $1,500
value--at 11 sites along the trail. Each new sign includes a "QR
code" for use by smartphones. The project was partially funded
through a partnership with the Hudson River Valley National Heritage
more information about the War of 1812 in the Champlain Valley and
sites on the Interpretive Trail, visit www.1812war.org.
more information about the wayside exhibit program, visit the Wayside Exhibit page
on the LCBP website.
EDUCATION AND OUTREACH INITIATIVES
Champlain Basin Education Initiative (CBEI) continues its work in
building awareness of issues in the Basin among educators and
learners of all ages.
December 9, CBEI hosted a dozen educators for a slideshow review of
last year's historic flood events in Vermont. LCBP Program Manager
Bill Howland shared his aerial photos from the spring floods and
Tropical Storm Irene and discussed the floods' impacts on the Lake
and its tributaries.
educators who attended the slideshow program were among the first to
see the newly launched WatershED Matters
website. This site, developed by LCBP and CBEI program partner Amy
Demarest, is a resource for educators of all levels and subjects
areas who are interested in incorporating watershed issues into their
curriculum. The site features strategic and pedagogical guidance for
curriculum design, service learning, and professional development as
well as subject matter content about watershed and water quality
issues in the Basin and beyond. Learn more at www.lcbp.org/watershedmatters/
Vermont fifth-graders present their watershed
studies projects at the CBEI Climate Change Workshop.
also hosted a Climate Change workshop for educators on March 10 at
St. Michael's College in Colchester, VT. Presenters included: Richard
Kujawa, St. Michael's Geography Professor, Kara Lenorowitz,
Colchester High School science teacher, Walter Poleman, UVM PLACE
program director, and Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux, Vermont State
Climatologist. Check out the WatershED Matters blog
for a summary of the day's events. The materials from this and other
CBEI-sponsored workshops will also be posted to the WatershED Matters
11-DAY CBEI PROGRAM FOR TEACHERS TO START IN JULY
Educators test water samples in a previous WEC
The March Climate
Change workshop was a warm up for CBEI's 2012-2013 Watershed for
Every Classroom (WEC) program. Whether studying Lake Champlain or a
small stream in a local neighborhood, WEC prepares educators to
engage students in meaningful watershed studies. Teachers will learn
new skills of inquiry and observation and consider how they will best
bring their new knowledge to their own classroom. This 11-day (over
the course of one year) program starts July 9-13, 2012. The program
will include site visits to Shelburne Farms, Mt. Philo, Lake
Champlain Maritime Museum, and the Adirondacks. Teachers can earn
five graduate credits at St. Michaels's College for an additional
fee. Contact Colleen Hickey at email@example.com for more
LCBP RESOURCE ROOM REACHES MILESTONE
Resource Room staffer Cynthia Norman demonstrates
the intricacies of a paper wasp nest.
days a week, year round since Memorial Day 2003, staff at the LCBP
Resource Room at ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center have shared
their vast watershed knowledge and provided lake-related resources to
guests from the Basin and beyond. In August 2011, the 200,000th
visitor walked through the doors of the second-story, corner nook
that overlooks the Lake and Adirondacks. There were no streamers or
confetti, but the milestone was an important one in efforts to
promote stewardship of the lake by increasing understanding and
appreciation of all it has to offer.
any given day, the Resource Room might serve local families,
tourists, anglers, teachers interested in stream study activities, or
college students exploring Lake-related topics. Visitors' curiosities
spark spontaneous conversations about topics ranging from invasive
species to the history of the Chazy Reef to methods of streambank
stabilization. While children complete an activity, Resource Room
staff have the opportunity to engage their parents in discussions
about Lake issues.
are delighted to have their questions answered. Staff encourage
visitors to become involved, describing ways to participate with
local watershed groups and providing contact information. Additional
materials such as watershed maps, rain barrel installation guidelines,
or fish consumptions advisories area also available.
number 250,000 is expected this summer! Will it be you?
ASIAN CLAM CONTROL CONTINUES ON LAKE GEORGE
Lake George Asian Clam Rapid Response Task Force (LGACRRTF) continues
its efforts to control the spread of Asian clams in Lake George, New
York. Treatments to eradicate the invasive mussels started promptly
after their discovery near Lake George Village in the summer of 2010.
Initial efforts to smother the bottom dwellers with benthic barrier
mats were 99% effective, but additional infestations were discovered
at four sites in summer 2011, requiring continuing work in the Lake.
A contract diver sieves sediment while surveying for
Asian clam infestations. Photo courtesy of Lake George Association.
additional discoveries prompted a lake-wide survey last fall. Task
Force scientists and contract divers surveyed more than 160 shallow
and sandy sites that could be potential clam habitat. When hundreds
of hours of painstaking effort turned up no additional infestation
sites in the lake, the Task Force turned its efforts to treating the
known infestation sites.
addition to the secondary treatments at Lake George Village, the team
installed 275 benthic barrier mats over a 2.5-acre area at Norowal Marina.
They also tested a suction harvesting method at Middleworth Bay,
where a mixed substrate of rocks and soft sediment made treatment
with mats less likely to succeed. The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
conducted an archaeological survey to ensure that the project would
not affect historical artifacts, and the team implemented stringent
measures to contain suspended sediments. The Task Force currently is
comparing the efficiency of the barrier mat and suction harvesting
Task Force is working with other Asian clam experts from Lake Tahoe,
the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Nevada. During a
site visit to Lake George, a guest scientist discussed Lake Tahoe's
mandatory boat inspection program. The collaboration has revealed
common needs, including rapid response and cooperation among all lake
for the latest information on Asian clam control efforts in Lake
LCBP NOW on FACEBOOK
The Lake Champlain Basin Program is now on Facebook. Head on over and like us.
You can also follow us on Twitter.
Office in Grand Isle:
372-3213 or (800) 468-5227 (toll-free in NY & VT)
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.