Clean Water
Matters!

The diverse ecosystems, working
landscapes, and vibrant communities
that inspire and sustain us depend on
clean water. Learn about pollution
reduction strategies.

Healthy Habitats
Connect Us All

Lakeshores, stream banks, and wetlands are critical to clean
water and biodiversity. Learn about efforts to improve
habitat connectivity in the Basin ecosystem.

We Care for
What We Know

Recreation fosters stewardship of the Basin’s rich
natural and cultural heritage by connecting people
to the landscape while supporting local economies.
Learn about ways to explore the Basin.

Informed Citizens
Make Wiser Choices

Citizens who have an understanding and
appreciation of water resources make informed
choices about actions that might contribute to
pollution. Learn about education programs.

    Water & Environment

    Did You Know?

    One of the first naval battles of the American Revolutionary War, the Battle of Valcour Island, was fought on Lake Champlain.
    Find out more

    Climate Change Impacts

    Lake Champlain Impacts

    Increased Storm Events and Flooding

    Otter Creek Sediment Plume

    A sediment plume enters Lake Champlain from Otter Creek at Ferrisburgh, VT after Tropical Storm Irene.

    The less frequent but more intense summer rain events have led to more dangerous flash floods. Though flooding is a normal phenomenon in our ecosystem, more damaging floods have been recorded in the past half-century than ever before. Floods put shoreline property and infrastructure at risk by eroding streambanks, and wash nutrients and toxic contaminants downstream to the Lake, promoting the growth of harmful algae blooms, reducing recreational opportunities, and compromising our drinking water.

    Impacts on Fish and Native Species

    With less snow melt in the spring, lake and groundwater levels are reduced, altering natural fluctuations in water levels that are necessary to maintain healthy wetlands and support spawning habitat for some fish and amphibians. Shorter winters disrupt the breeding cycle of certain migrating waterfowl, and increases the overwinter survival of some nuisance species such as mosquitoes and ticks. Higher water temperatures threaten Lake Champlain’s capacity to support native cold-water fish species. In many parts of North America, warmer water temperatures have reduced the spawning success of native cold-water fish, including salmon and trout, and cool-water fish such as walleye and northern pike. Warm-water fish species (bass and invasive white perch) have increased. Fluctuations in species populations disrupt ecosystem dynamics and could affect the recreational fishing industry, an important component of the Lake Champlain regional economy.

    Increasing Risk for New or Invasive Species

    While native species face an uncertain future, invasive species are expanding their territories. A warmer climate means that species that previously could not survive Lake Champlain winters are now moving into the area and potentially out-competing natives. Species of particular concern include Eurasian ruffe, Hydrilla, Quagga Mussels, Round Goby, and Fishhook & Spiny Water Fleas.

    Changes in Recreation

    Declining ice cover during winter has affected the ice fishing industry on the Lake. Ice fishing has traditionally been a big economic boost for the region, especially in the islands. Warmer temperatures mean that more winter precipitation now falls as rain rather than snow, a challenge to the ski industry in the region. On the flip side, warmer temperatures have brought more sightseers, boaters and bikers to the area during the summer months and the shoulder seasons.

    More on Climate Change Impacts

    U.S. National Climate Assessment 2014 Report: Climate Change Impacts in the United States

    For more information on impacts, please visit the “How does Climate Change Affect Lake Champlain” section of our State of the Lake report.

    To learn about actions taken to address climate change, please visit the “Effects of a Changing Climate” chapter in the Lake Champlain Management Plan Opportunities for Action.

     

    What is the State of the Lake?

    What is the
    State of the Lake?

    Learn about the health of Lake Champlain in the 2015 State of the Lake report. Read about trends in key indicators of water quality and ecosystem health. Read the State of the Lake report

    Volunteers

    Make Some Waves

    From using lake-friendly cleaning products to volunteering with a local watershed group, you can help restore and protect the Lake Champlain Basin. Find out how you can get involved

    Track Our Progress

    Track Our Progress

    Explore the goals and actions of our partners and track our progress online with the Opportunities for Action website. View Opportunities for Action

    © 2017 Lake Champlain Basin Program
    Site design: Taylor Design
    Switch To Mobile Version
    Lake Champlain Basin Program

    Lake Champlain Basin Program
    54 West Shore Road
    Grand Isle, VT 05458
    800-468-5227 (NY & VT)
    or 802-372-3213