The Steering Committee serves as a forum for information exchange and a mechanism to coordinate state and provincial policies and programs. Created by the Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Cooperation on the Management of Lake Champlain in 1988, it is the only formal, international, tri-party, government-based institution currently focused on Lake Champlain. It meets about four times each year. An Executive Committee subset of the Steering Committee conducts the business of the LCBP between meetings.
Membership of the Steering Committee consists of senior staff representing state and provincial government in Vermont, New York, and Quebec, local government representatives, the Citizen Advisory Committee Chairs, the Technical Advisory Committee Chair, Heritage Area Program Advisory Committee Chair, Education and Outreach Advisory Committee Chair, seven US federal agency representatives (Army Corps of Engineers, National Park Service, USDA/NRCS, USEPA, USFWS), and a Lake Champlain Sea Grant representative. The Steering Committee serves the following roles in guiding implementation of Opportunities for Action:
To increase its effectiveness, the Steering Committee has assigned eleven of its members to comprise an Executive Committee to meet four to eight times per year between Steering Committee meetings to conduct LCBP business on behalf of the Steering Committee. New York, Vermont, and the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) share chairmanship of the Executive Committee in a two-year rotation; this pattern contributes to stability in operational guidance of the LCBP, with appropriate leadership duties provided by the jurisdictions in which the LCBP is principally funded and in which the office is located. The transition of the Chair role occurs in September of each transition year, which typically marks the beginning of the annual LCBP budget development cycle.
The Executive Committee includes Steering Committee representatives of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Québec Ministère de l’Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs (Ministry of Environment, the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife, and Parks), Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, USEPA Region 1, USEPA Region 2, and the chairs of the six advisory committees (New York, Québec, and Vermont Citizen Advisory Committees (CACs), Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), Education and Outreach Advisory Committee (E&O), and Heritage Area Partnership Advisory Committees (HAPAC)). These eleven members make up the regular voting membership of the Executive Committee. However, any Steering Committee member may participate in any Executive Committee meeting with the option of voting if present.
Minutes are made available to the public after being approved by the Steering Committee at its next meeting (PDF format).