Volunteer Coordination and Training for the Lake Champlain Cyanobacteria Monitoring Program
Lake Champlain Committee (2018). Volunteer Coordination and
Training for the Lake Champlain Cyanobacteria Monitoring Program, Grand Isle, VT: Lake Champlain Basin Program
A Lake Champlain cyanobacteria monitoring program has been in place since 2002. The Lake Champlain Committee (LCC) initiated a citizen-based near-shore monitoring program in 2003 and has expanded the network of trained volunteers and monitoring sites since that time. The monitoring program is an effective collaboration with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VT DEC), Vermont Department of Health (VDH) and participating New York agencies. The program includes New York, Vermont and Quebec monitoring sites. Since 2012, VT DEC has had primary responsibility for program oversight including Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) procedures. Funding for LCC’s portion of the monitoring program was provided by the Lake Champlain Basin Program and private donations.
This report covers LCC’s portion of the on-going Lake Champlain cyanobacteria monitoring program for the period between June 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017 and focuses on monitoring season preparation, recruitment and training of volunteers, monitor season reporting, and analysis of the season. LCC trains and supports a network of volunteers who monitor for cyanobacteria at shoreland locations on Lake Champlain and at several inland Vermont lakes. LCC also assists in training water supply operators and state and municipal recreational personnel at Lake Champlain parks and beach areas. LCC’s data collection complements those of VT DEC and is integrated into a program that includes qualitative observations and quantitative analysis. LCC vets all of the monitor observations before they are approved for public viewing on a cyanobacteria data-tracker map housed on the VDH website. LCC also communicates results via our website, weekly emails to monitors and a list-serve of interested citizens, and through media releases and social media avenues. LCC’s outreach also focuses on how to recognize and respond to cyanobacteria blooms.