The Lake Champlain Basin Program released the 2018 State of the Lake and Ecosystem Indicators Report today. The report, produced every three years, provides an assessment of the condition of Lake Champlain. The report also serves to provide the public and resource managers with a better understanding of threats to the lake’s health, as well as opportunities to meet the challenges ahead.
“This report helps the public to interpret information about the Lake using the best scientific data available. Lake managers use this information to develop and assess strategies for improving water quality in Lake Champlain,” said Dr. Eric Howe, LCBP Director. “In the 2018 report, we provide updated information on the many issues facing Lake Champlain.”
“Lake Champlain is an amazing resource of regional significance. Numerous efforts are underway, including many funded by EPA, to address water quality, invasive species, and other problems facing the lake,” said Alexandra Dunn, US Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator for New England. “While some improvements will take many years to achieve, these periodic reports on status and trends are critical – they help us know whether we are making progress. It is important that we continue to work closely with our state and local partners to implement effective, long-term actions to protect and improve water quality in Lake Champlain.”
The 2018 report emphasizes the importance of community engagement and recreation opportunities to help stakeholders connect with the Lake, and understand the importance of protecting this resource. The report highlights the success of the LCBP Boat Launch Steward program, in which over ten thousand boaters are welcomed at public launches each year and informed about the importance of properly decontaminating their gear before entering the Lake, and when leaving. The report also highlights a lack of change in phosphorus conditions across the Lake, and describes changes in the amount of phosphorus delivered to the lake each year.
“The Lake Champlain Basin Program’s State of the Lake Report rightly emphasizes community engagement to help protect the lake and provide environmentally sustainable economic opportunities,” said EPA Region 2 Administrator Pete Lopez. “EPA funding will help local communities, property owners and businesses, as well as the agriculture community, on the New York side reduce nutrients entering the Lake.”
“I thank the Lake Champlain Basin Program for providing such detailed insights about the condition of Lake Champlain, for citizens and policymakers alike. This clear-eyed look at the Lake includes good, and also not-so-good, news, and it will help inspire each of us to work even harder to protect the Lake, and to take time to appreciate its great value and fantastic beauty,” said U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy.
The 2018 version is available online.