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Lake Champlain Committee

Early Summer Ripples E-news

Dear LCC Members and Friends,

July is National Lakes Appreciation Month -- a great time to immerse yourself in water and dive into lake issues. Read on to learn about the State of the Lake, why Lake Champlain beaches are north of river outlets, and how degraded water quality affects property values. You'll also find updates on LCC's work, events to mark on your calendar, a journal excerpt about a paddle down the lake, and lake news from near and far.

We wish you wonderful adventures in, on, and around the water and hope you'll send us pictures of your lake outings.

Here's to the lake we love!

Lori Fisher, LCC Exec. Director

What's the State of Lake Champlain?

The Lake Champlain Basin Program released their 2015 State of the Lake report on June 30. The report states that, “although water quality trends in Lake Champlain are cause for concern. . .more than 85% of Lake Champlain’s water is consistently of excellent quality and another 13% of the water is usually in quite good condition. In the remaining 2% of the Lake, conditions are seasonally alarming. Read more...

Pollution Reduces Property Values

For the second time in seven years a Vermont town has lowered the assessed value of lakeside property due to pollution, according to Vermont Public Radio.  Read more...

Water Advocates Flood DC

LCC Executive Director Lori Fisher spent a few days in Washington DC last month with colleagues from the America's Great Waters Coalition. Organized by the National Parks Conservation Association and the National Wildlife Federation, the Coalition includes representatives from many great waters across the nation.  Read more...

Walmart Fined Over Fertilizer Sales

Mega retailer Walmart was fined $98,000 by New York State for selling phosphorus fertilizer without appropriate signage. As a result, and to avoid future such fines, Walmart has agreed to remove all phosphorus lawn fertilizer from its store shelves. The law restricting the use of phosphorus fertilizer on lawns went into effect in New York in 2012.  Read more...

LCC's Blue-green Algae Monitoring Program Underway

Hats off to the great group of dedicated blue-green algae monitoring volunteers who are reporting on water quality from over 80 Lake Champlain shoreline locations, six sites on Lake Carmi and one on Lake Iroquois. LCC has trained over 300 individuals this season to identify blue-green algae, including state and municipal recreational staff and water treatment system operators.  Read more...

Get Your Guidebook and Travel the Trail!

The 2015 edition of the Lake Champlain Paddlers' Trail guidebook is out! It’s jam-packed with helpful information for great adventures on the water including site descriptions and chartlets for 43 Trail locations (with access to over 600 campsites), launch site listings, natural history articles, safety and stewardship tips, equipment check lists and more!  Read more...

Paddling Down the Lake

In late June, LCC members John Little and Jim Wakefield headed down the lake in a handcrafted canoe on a paddle to New York City. Both are science teachers and experienced outdoorsmen, and they have paddled many waterways together. Read John's account of the first leg of their journey on LCC's site. Read more...

Lessons From the Flood

Ponds can be an aesthetic addition to a property, but they also pose a danger during times of flooding. Ponds built within floodplains become magnets for rising waters. Read more...

Stowe Reports for "Doodie"

Few of us like picking up dog poop. For many dog owners it's the least favorite task of pet ownership. Pet poo may seem benign but those left behind stools are nasty to step in and bad for waterways. Pet waste contains disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and lots of excess nutrients that can close a beach to swimming, trigger weed and algae blooms, and foul water. Read more...

Over 5,000 Find a Better Way to Go

In May, more than five thousand people joined in the Way to Go Smart Trip Challenge and chose healthier, more earth-friendly transportation alternatives to driving alone. Together these commuters saved at least 300,773 miles, 12,215 gallons of gasoline, and over 110 tons of carbon. Read more...

Birds Along The Lake 

May is always a wonderful month for bird-watching along Lake Champlain. Migrants stream along the shores and wetlands as they wing their way to breeding grounds in the region and points north.    Read more...

If You Don't Like the Weather. . . 

Just wait a minute; it will change. In our last Enews we noted how low the lake had been for a prolonged time. What a difference a month makes. June rainfall set records in some parts of the Champlain Basin and the lake level is still above average for this time of year.  Read more...

A Day at the Beach

Sand and waves, suntan lotion, bathing suits, a child’s plastic pail and shovel for building castles. Spending a day at the beach is a long standing summer tradition, but did you ever wonder why there aren’t more beaches? Why do beaches form along some coves on Lake Champlain but not others? 

Most of Lake Champlain’s beaches have two things in common, they are north of outlets to large rivers and they face south. Read more...

Nature Note - Soaring

Ever notice the amount of time gulls can spend floating over the lake without flapping their wings? On a windy day, they use up flowing drafts of air caused by waves to stay aloft. Wind is slower near the water surface due to friction and the higher you are above water, so sometimes you will see a bird speed rapidly away as it increases elevation.  Read more...

Upcoming Events

July 25 - Regatta for Lake Champlain

The Regatta for Lake Champlain is the most unique race in the region. It is the only race hosted on Burlington’s Waterfront, giving spectators a beautiful view of almost 50 sailboats, usually arriving under spinnakers (the colorful kite-like sail) into the harbor silhouetted against the Adirondack MountainsRead more...

September 13 - Lake Champlain Open Water Swim

If you're a distance swimmer, consider participating in the 3.76 mile open water swim across this year. This second annual race across Lake Champlain begins in the Village of Essex, New York and ends at the public beach in Charlotte Vermont. Read more...

Other Lake News from Near and Far

Boater Safety Course Now On-line

As of last May, all New York State boaters born after May 1, 1996 had to complete a boater safety course in order to legally operate a motorboat. Read more...

New Lake George Septic Regs

The Town of Lake George has adopted new regulations that will make it easier for residences to install septic systems. Read more...

Bottled Water E. Coli Contamination

A California based bottling company issued a voluntary recall for 14 brands of bottled water. All of the brands had been bottled at a spring in Auburn, Pennsylvania which may have been contaminated with E. coli.  Read more...

Early Algae Blooms in Wisconsin

Three beaches in Madison, Wisconsin were closed last month due to potentially toxic blue green algae blooms. While blooms are not uncommon on adjacent Lake Mendota, they were unusually early this year. Read more...

Massive Algae Bloom off West Coast

huge algae bloom off the West Coast shut down the region's fisheries last month. The algae in question are not the blue-greens familiar on Lake Champlain, but rather a diatom calledPseudo-nitzschia.  Read more...

Moving? Changing Email Addresses?

If so, please email us so we can update your files and ensure you receive news on lake issues and LCC’s work. Email is our primary form of communication with members. Mailing electronically saves time and resources and reinforces the stewardship ethic of our mission. We don’t give away or sell email addresses.

Lake Champlain Committee Board of Directors

Gary Kjelleren - Chair (South Hero, VT), Sharon Murray - Treasurer (Bolton, VT), Alan Booth (Plattsburgh, NY), Sandy Montgomery (Montreal, QC), Ann Ruzow Holland (Willsboro, NY), Hank Slauson (Shelburne, VT), Chuck Woessner (Grand Isle, VT).

Lake Champlain Committee Advisory Council

Megan Epler Wood (Burlington, VT), Steven Kellogg (Essex, NY), Peter S. Paine, Jr. (Willsboro, NY), Mary Watzin (NC).

Lake Champlain Committee Staff

Lori Fisher, Executive Director
Alexa Hachigian, Office Manager
Mike Winslow, Staff Scientist

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