News Release: LCBP Awards $1.3 Million to Local Groups and Municipalities
Grand Isle, VT – The Lake Champlain Basin is awarding $1,334,951 in grants to communities and organizations in Vermont and New York that are implementing projects to improve the future of the Lake Champlain watershed. Funding for these grants originates through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and the National Park Service.
Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, whose support was essential in securing the funds for the grants, commented, “I’m proud to see so many towns, cities and watershed groups stepping up to protect Lake Champlain, and I’m pleased that their work can be supported with these federal investments. It’s rewarding to know that my work to bring resources to the Lake Champlain Basin Program is making a difference, when I see so many important projects moving forward, with even more each year. This will always be a high priority for me each year on the Appropriations Committee.”
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York, who worked to secure support for Lake Champlain in the House appropriations process, said “Congratulations to each of the New York communities that received grant money from the Lake Champlain Basin Program. This funding gives communities the ability to research, protect, and maintain the Lake Champlain watershed, and is vital to its future. I was one of the two leading voices in Congress to ensure support for this critical funding, and I’m proud to advocate for the environmental interests of the North Country at every opportunity I can.”
Congressman Peter Welch of Vermont also worked to ensure funding for Lake Champlain in the House appropriations process. Congressman Welch commented, “Lake Champlain is one of the natural wonders of New England and an international treasure. It is central to our cultural heritage and natural history, and an invaluable recreational and economic resource. These grants will allow the Lake Champlain Basin Program to advance its critical mission of protecting and preserving this great lake for generations to come.”
“Local NGOs and municipalities will use these funds to complete projects in every region of the Lake Champlain watershed,” said Dr. Eric Howe, LCBP Director. “Watershed groups and community partners use education and citizen action at the local level, to prevent phosphorus and other pollutants from entering the watershed,” said Howe. “Working together with volunteers, they decrease erosion from river banks by planting trees in riparian areas, calibrate and decrease salt discharge from DPW winter maintenance trucks, implement green infrastructure in school yards to reduce runoff, teach about native fish and plant species, and create programs that help students understand watershed problems.”
The 90 grants awarded this year will support projects in several categories. Examples include:
- Enhanced Best Management Practices – e.g.,The Greater Burlington YMCA Foundation received funding to reduce combined sewer overflows to Lake Champlain through public private partnerships and innovative technology. $111,490
- Pollution Prevention and Habitat Conservation – e.g., The Ausable River Association received funding to develop a riparian restoration protocol for the Ausable Watershed. $12,285
Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention – e.g., The Missisquoi River Basin Association will map Japanese knotweed along the riparian areas for the Missisquoi and Trout Rivers. $12,243
- Education and Outreach – e.g., The Lake Champlain Committee received funds to reduce stormwater on the Plattsburgh High School campus and complete bi-lingual interpretive panels with French students about the project. $45,000
- Organizational Support – e.g., The Boquet River Association received funds to improve their website, $3,000
- Cultural Heritage – e.g., Local Motion received funds to create interpretive panels about the Adirondack and Green Mountains for the Island Line recreational trail. $7,500
The Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership (CVNHP) also issued cultural heritage and recreation grants to fund interpretation of Native American and Franco-American history, a paddlers trail map for the Lamoille river, a themed program and restoration of the camp colors for the Royal Highland emigrants at Fort Ticonderoga, and other projects related to local heritage and the CVNHP Making of Nations theme.
These grants were supported with funds provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, and National Park Service. The LCBP has awarded more than $10 million to 1,300 projects in New York, Vermont and Québec in the competitive Local Grants programs since 1992. Funded projects support actions in the Lake Champlain management plan Opportunities for Action. For more information about LCBP’s local grant program, visit the Grants Map and Database at lcbp.org/grants, or call the Lake Champlain Basin Program at (802) 372-3213. These grants are awarded by the Lake Champlain Steering Committee through the Lake Champlain Basin Program and New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission.
For further information, contact the Lake Champlain Basin Program, 54 West Shore Road, Grand Isle, VT at (802) 372-3213 / (800) 468-5227 or visit www.lcbp.org.
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