Lake Champlain Basin Program Seeks Proposals for Watershed Outreach Initiatives

Grand Isle, VT – The Lake Champlain Basin Program seeks proposals for projects that support local watershed groups and provide opportunities for informing and involving the public in Lake Champlain outreach initiatives. The Program anticipates awarding up to $750,000 to local organizations, municipalities, and educational institutions through four grant categories.

Current grants will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Organizational Support grants (up to $20,000 per award)
  • Education and Outreach Implementation grants (up to $15,000 per award)
  • Large Education and Outreach Implementation grants (up to $50,000 per award)
  • Stream Wise Participation grants (up to 15,000 per award)

Eric Howe, LCBP Director, said, “Our Congressional delegation is very responsive to the actions needed to improve the Lake Champlain watershed and specifically in assisting the LCBP with providing support to our boots-on-the-ground partner organizations. Each year, these groups do great projects in local communities, on farms, along rivers at the top of the watershed, in neighborhoods, and in schools that ultimately will benefit Lake Champlain.” 

Local organizations play a critical role in implementing projects to achieve water quality and habitat protection goals. Recent project examples funded through outreach or organizational support grants include:

  • Ausable River Association: Staff are receiving increased training to build capacity that will focus on scientific river diving and river research
  • Zoological Society of Granby: A “Spiny Softshell” Project: Quebec schools and municipalities are working to protect the spiny softshell turtle and its habitats along Lake Champlain and its tributaries.
  • Vermont River Conservancy: Community volunteers and student interns are removing invasive species, restoring riparian areas, and improving public access at McCuin Island, a four-acre island in the Lamoille which is home to a paddler campsite and a rare natural community.
  • Adirondack Action: The Clean Water, Safe Roads Partnership is conducting an education program to NYS Basin highway departments to reduce the use of road salt and implement proven winter road maintenance best practices.
  • The Warren County Soil & Water Conservation District: SUNY Adirondack’s Agricultural School is working with college students and farmers to create an agroforestry plan for 30 acres of farm fields on campus with the goal of reduced nutrient leaching and erosion to a tributary of Halfway Brook.

“These grants support organizations that are very adept at completing community and neighborhood projects that result in positive changes on the landscape surrounding the Lake,” said Howe. “To further meet the goals in our management plan for the Lake, LCBP is initiating our new “Stream Wise” grant program for the upcoming year.”

Stream Wise (streamwisechamplain.org) is a newly launched initiative designed to inform and engage streamside landowners in protecting and planting native vegetated buffers on their properties to increase stream health, wildlife habitats, and flood resiliency in their local communities.

The LCBP anticipates awarding nearly $750,000 by April 2023 in these four categories. Projects located in the New York, Québec, and Vermont portions of the Lake Champlain basin will be eligible for consideration in this grant opportunity. Grant guidelines, applications, deadlines and electronic application submission links for each category can be found on the Lake Champlain Basin Program’s website at lcbp.org/grants.

The grants will support projects that advance the goals of the long-term Lake Champlain management plan Opportunities for Action (plan.lcbp.org). These projects are supported by funds awarded to NEIWPCC on behalf of the LCBP by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.

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The Lake Champlain Basin Program coordinates and funds efforts that benefit the Lake Champlain Basin’s water quality, fisheries, wetlands, wildlife, recreation, and cultural resources. The program works in partnership with federal agencies, state and provincial agencies from New York, Vermont, and Québec, local communities, businesses, and citizen groups. NEIWPCC—a regional commission that helps the states of the Northeast preserve and advance water quality—serves as the primary program administrator of LCBP at the request of the Lake Champlain Steering Committee and administers the program’s personnel and finances. LCBP is a program partner of NEIWPCC. 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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