LCBP Awards Nearly $3 Million to Local Groups and Municipalities
The Lake Champlain Basin Program is awarding $2,933,352 in grants to communities and organizations in New York, Québec, and Vermont that are implementing projects to improve the future of the Lake Champlain watershed. Funding for these grants originates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and the National Park Service.
Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the Vice Chair of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, whose support was essential in securing the funds for the grants, said: “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.”
“I am very encouraged that this crucial funding will once again support projects that continue to protect Lake Champlain,” said Congresswoman Stefanik of New York. “This funding provides critical support for improving water quality, combating invasive species and pollution, supporting healthy ecosystems, promoting tourism and cultural activity in the area, and educating the public about all of these topics. I will continue to be a lead advocate in Congress to deliver this funding, and I look forward to seeing the impacts that it has on the area surrounding Lake Champlain again this year.”
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, Director of the Lake Champlain Basin Program. “Watershed groups and community partners use education and citizen action at the local level, to prevent phosphorus, salt and other pollutants from entering the watershed,” said Howe. “Working together with volunteers, these groups are reducing erosion from river banks and protecting critical habitat by planting trees in riparian areas, identifying and removing invasive species, and creating programs that help students and adults understand, explore, and solve watershed problems.”
The 106 grants awarded this year will support projects in several categories. Examples include:
- Enhanced Best Management Practices – e.g., The Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District received funds to conduct homeowner stormwater assessments basin-wide to advance voluntary implementation of best management practices. $42,580
- Pollution Prevention and Habitat Conservation – e.g., The City of Plattsburgh received funds to test for illicit discharges to the Plattsburgh stormwater system. $19,605
- Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention – e.g., The Organisme de bassin versant de la baie Missisquoi received funds to host two bi-lingual boat launch stewards on Missisquoi Bay. $14,000
- Education and Outreach – e.g., The Composting Association of Vermont received funds to host 10 Soil Builders Workshops to demonstrate how compost can help reduce erosion and improve water quality in the Lake Champlain basin. $40,000
- Organizational Support – e.g., The Poultney Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District received funds to develop a strategic plan and prepare for the implementation of Vermont Act 76 which addresses clean water issues. $4000
- Technical grants – e.g., The Nature Conservancy received funds to secure and restore aquatic habitat connectivity in the North Branch Boquet river watershed. $130,000
- Cultural Heritage – e.g., The Chapman Museum received $15,000 to implement the Champlain Valley Suffrage Centennial Motorcade during summer 2020. The Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership (CVNHP) also issued cultural heritage to fund interpretation of six additional Woman Suffrage interpretation projects, cultural heritage site interns for historic sites and museums, and collection protection grants for cultural heritage resources throughout the Champlain Valley.
These grants were supported with funds provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, and National Park Service, secured by members of the US congressional delegation representing New York and Vermont. The LCBP has awarded more than $13 million to 1,400 projects in New York, Vermont and Québec in these competitive 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 https://www.lcbp.org/about-us/grants-rfps/request-for-proposals-rfps/closed-lcbp-rfps/, or call the Lake Champlain Basin Program at (802) 372-3213. These grants are awarded by the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission on behalf of the Lake Champlain Steering Committee and the Lake Champlain Basin Program.
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.