Grand Isle, VT – The Lake Champlain Basin Program recently awarded over $2.6 million in grants to communities and organizations in New York, Québec, and Vermont to improve the future of the Lake Champlain watershed. The LCBP has awarded more than $15.5 million to 1,500 projects in New York, Vermont and Québec through competitive grant programs since 1992.
Senator Leahy, who champions the funding of work to protect and restore Lake Champlain as Chairman of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, said “I’m truly impressed by the great work being done by private organizations, schools, towns and state agencies in both Vermont and New York to protect Lake Champlain. The Lake Champlain Basin Program does so well at identifying important projects and making these federal funds accessible to partners across the basin.”
“We’re very encouraged, especially during the COVID pandemic, that nearly 100 organizations and municipalities across the region received local and regional project funding,” said Dr. Eric Howe, Director of the Lake Champlain Basin Program and the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership. “By reducing phosphorus, road salt and other pollutants, enhancing recreational access, and expanding cultural heritage interpretation, these partnerships work to improve the Lake Champlain ecosystem for future generations.”
“Local partners play a critical role in helping to clean up Lake Champlain and need the support of federal and state government to succeed,” said Senator Sanders. “I am pleased that the Lake Champlain Basin Program works with these local partners to get federal dollars on the ground and bring about real change. Together, we will continue to fight for federal resources to improve the health of Lake Champlain and a sustainable future for all.”
Congressman Peter Welch of Vermont 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.”
“Supporting the work of LCBP and its partners in the Basin is directly tied to NEIWPCC’s vision for clean and sustainable water throughout the Northeast. I look forward to the completion of the local projects which implement our shared goals and provide clear examples of the importance of on-the-ground work,” said NEIWPCC’s Executive Director, Susan Sullivan.
Howe added, “Each local grant award also provides a multiplier effect, matching federal funds with boots on the ground opportunities. Homeowners can receive technical assistance from watershed groups to assess their property for stormwater issues, stewards identify aquatic invasive species and remove them from boats and trailers, and volunteers help visitors learn about the rich history of the region. In addition, the LCBP relies on about ten teams of experts from New York, Québec and Vermont each year to review and rank our grant applications, making recommendations to our Executive and Steering Committee members.”
The 98 grants awarded this year will support projects across several categories. Examples include:
These grants will support projects that advance the goals of the long-term Lake Champlain management plan Opportunities for Action (plan.lcbp.org). These grants are supported by funds awarded to NEIWPCC on behalf of the Lake Champlain Basin Program by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, and the National Park Service. 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/, 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.