The human history of Lake Champlain and its Basin spans more than 10,000 years. The Basin’s cultural heritage resources include historic structures and settlements of early Europeans, archeological sites on land and under water, sites of traditional and sacred importance to the Abenaki, Iroquois, and Mohican, military battle sites, agricultural sites, and industrial development sites.
In 2006, the U.S. Congress established the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership (CVNHP). This national heritage area was designated to recognize the importance of the historical, cultural, and recreational resources of the Champlain Valley; to preserve, protect, and interpret those resources; to enhance the tourism economy; and to encourage partnerships among state/provincial and local governments and nonprofit organizations in New York, Québec, and Vermont.
Most of the CVNHP is located within the Lake Champlain Basin, but the Partnership area also includes Bennington (Vermont) and Saratoga (New York) Counties, outside the Basin to the south. The CVNHP is administered under the auspices of the LCBP, and its Management Plan is a component of the Lake Champlain management plan Opportunities for Action.
The CVNHP hosts its own website that is rich with information about cultural heritage and recreation in the region. You’ll find details about CVNHP projects like the Lake Champlain Bridge Quest, the Wayside Exhibit series, and the centennial commemorations of Woman Suffrage and Prohibition. The CVNHP site is also home to several regional initiatives, including the Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve, Lake Champlain Bikeways, and the Champlain Valley Wine Trail.
Visit the CVNHP website →
The region’s natural and cultural resources are, of course, inextricably intertwined. A number of projects focus on issues that are important from water quality/ecosystem and cultural heritage perspectives. These project benefit from the expertise and contributions of staff from both the LCBP and the CVNHP.
The LCBP and CVNHP worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and other partners to celebrate the International Year of the Salmon. Partners highlighted Lake Champlain’s natural heritage by telling the story of almost-unbelievable accounts of bounty of salmon in Lake Champlain reported in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Programs focused on the demise of the Atlantic salmon, its successful reintroduction in 1972, and the challenges we face in maintaining the species.
Learn about the International Year of the Salmon celebration in this video from our Bringing Back Salmon series:
Learn more about the International Year of the Salmon →
The landmark legislation that put in place many of the programs that have led to cleaner water will be 50 years old in 2022. The LCBP and the CVNHP are working on efforts with partners in the Basin to recognize and celebrate the significance of the Clean Water Act. Details will be shared on the LCBP and CVNHP websites as they are available.