The LCBP has released an update to its Lake Champlain management plan Opportunities for Action: An Evolving Plan for the Future of the Lake Champlain Basin. The plan will guide the LCBP’s work over the next five years to improve water quality and aquatic ecosystem health in the watershed.
This new version continues a focus on objectives and strategies that address four goals introduced in the 2017 plan: Clean Water, Healthy Ecosystems, Thriving Communities, and an Informed and Involved Public. It includes as overarching themes the mitigation of climate change impacts in the Lake Champlain watershed and a focus on including diverse voices and communities with environmental justice concerns in this work.
The 2022 version of OFA is its fifth iteration. Lake and watershed conditions have continued to change since the Plan was first endorsed by the governors of New York and Vermont and the regional administrators of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1996. Like previous updates, the 2022 version addresses the latest challenges and opportunities related to nutrient loading, aquatic invasive species, habitat conservation, cultural heritage preservation, and other issues. As with past versions, the 2022 plan also includes a letter of support from Québec demonstrating Québec’s commitment to Lake Champlain management efforts.
Opportunities for Action is a tool for the Lake Champlain Steering Committee, which serves as forum for information exchange and a mechanism to coordinate the efforts of stakeholders working on lake-related issues from New York, Vermont, and Québec. The Committee develops the LCBP’s annual budget and directs its work, including several key functions that are defined in the Plan: coordinate actions that benefit the watershed; support local level involvement and public engagement; monitor success relative to benchmarks; promote and advise partner communications; secure and direct funding; conduct sound research; and regularly update plan recommendations. These functions inform priority task areas for each goal, which are implemented through the LCBP’s annual budget process.