Clean Water

The diverse ecosystems, working
landscapes, and vibrant communities
that inspire and sustain us depend on
clean water. Learn about pollution
reduction strategies.

Healthy Habitats
Connect Us All

Lakeshores, stream banks, and wetlands are critical to clean
water and biodiversity. Learn about efforts to improve
habitat connectivity in the Basin ecosystem.

We Care for
What We Know

Recreation fosters stewardship of the Basin’s rich
natural and cultural heritage by connecting people
to the landscape while supporting local economies.
Learn about ways to explore the Basin.

Informed Citizens
Make Wiser Choices

Citizens who have an understanding and
appreciation of water resources make informed
choices about actions that might contribute to
pollution. Learn about education programs.

    Water & Environment

    Did You Know?

    More than 300 shipwrecks have been found in Lake Champlain. Some of these shipwrecks are in the Lake Champlain Underwater Historic Preserve and can be visited by scuba divers.
    Find out more

    TMDL Program

    The Federal Clean Water Act requires states to develop Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for lakes and rivers that are not meeting water quality goals. A TMDL is an estimate of the amount of a pollutant that a body of water can receive without impairing vital uses, such as drinking water supply or support of aquatic life. Because excess phosphorus from a variety of sources has impaired water quality in many parts of Lake Champlain, the states of Vermont and New York developed a phosphorus TMDL in 2002.

    In 2011, the EPA disapproved the Vermont portion of the TMDL based on two concerns: the TMDL did not provide sufficient assurance that phosphorus reductions from polluted runoff would be achieved, and there was not an adequate margin of safety to account for uncertainty in the original analysis (particularly for four segments of the Lake: Missisquoi Bay, St. Albans Bay, Northeast Arm, and South Lake). EPA collaborated with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets to establish a new TMDL for Vermont Segments of Lake Champlain in June 2016. The 2002 TMDL remains in place for New York.

    The state of Vermont released a Phase I Implementation Plan, which provides a framework for how phosphorus limit established in the TMDL will be met. The Phase I plan includes policy commitments, including enhanced regulatory programs, funding and financial incentives, and technical assistance, that address reduction of nonpoint sources of pollution at a basin-wide scale. The state is also developing Phase 2 sub-basin tactical plans for each lake segment. These plans identify in more detail the specific measures and management practices to be implemented.

    The original Lake Champlain phosphorus TMDL was based on phosphorus loading and in-lake concentration targets defined in a 1993 Water Quality Agreement signed by New York, Vermont, and Québec. Loading targets were updated with those established by the 2016 Vermont TMDL. Targets and actual in-lake concentrations for each segment are updated in the State of the Lake report.

    More about TMDLs


    What is the State of the Lake?

    What is the
    State of the Lake?

    Learn about the health of Lake Champlain in the 2018 State of the Lake report. Read about trends in key indicators of water quality and ecosystem health. Read the State of the Lake report


    Make Some Waves

    From using lake-friendly cleaning products to volunteering with a local watershed group, you can help restore and protect the Lake Champlain Basin. Find out how you can get involved

    Track Our Progress

    Track Our Progress

    Explore the goals and actions of our partners and track our progress online with the Opportunities for Action website. View Opportunities for Action

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    LCBP is a program partner of
    Lake Champlain Basin Program

    Lake Champlain Basin Program
    54 West Shore Road
    Grand Isle, VT 05458
    800-468-5227 (NY & VT)
    or 802-372-3213