Lake Champlain Committee
January 2019 E-news
Below is the January 2019 edition of the Lake Champlain Committee (LCC) Enewsletter. It includes nature notes, clean lake tips for winter, articles about ice volcanoes and the winter solstice, and water news from near and far. It comes to you with our deep thanks for your past membership support for clean, accessible water. Please continue that support by renewing your LCC membership which expires soon. We hope you will consider a gift of $65 to help keep LCC present, active and effective in the meeting rooms, legislative halls and hearings where policy decisions are made. Your donation will fund our water protection advocacy, outreach and fieldwork. It will help us engage citizens in lake stewardship, run clean-up programs, and provide access. Renew online using our secure website, mail a check to the address below or call our office at 802 658-1414 and we’ll process your donation while you’re on the phone. Either way, your gift will make a difference for the water that sustains us.
Thanks for caring,
Lori Fisher, Executive Director
Water Caucus Weighs in on Gov. Scott’s Water Funding Proposal
In his January 24, 2019 Budget Address, Vermont Governor Phil Scott proposed using a portion of the Estate Tax to fund water projects. We applaud the Governor’s commitment to long-term clean water funding, but we are concerned with the proposal he advanced because the tax is variable and moves around existing funds in the state budget.
Balancing Water Quality with Safety: How Municipalities Use Salt on the Roads
After a winter storm hits the Lake Champlain watershed, the few cars braving the weather might find themselves outnumbered by plows, earthmovers, and dump trucks.
In the midst of winter changes there is a lake phenomenon that seems more at home in the extreme cold of the arctic than familiar Lake Champlain. Commonly called ice volcanoes, this phenomenon is unique to large northern lakes and oceans, where powerful waves send “eruptions” of water through the ice.
The Long Winter
100,000 years ago, winter in the Champlain valley was a lot longer. The last glaciers of the ice age filled the Green and Adirondack Mountains, carrying vast amounts of earth that scraped the land like sandpaper, deepening the valley that would one day hold Lake Champlain.
Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Winters on Lake Champlain are known for their long hours of darkness. As the sun sets earlier each afternoon, and rises later each morning, those who have settled in this valley may begin to feel the days blend together into one long winter’s night.
Clean Lake Tip: Reducing Sidewalk Salt
Salt is the ubiquitous solution to icy roads and sidewalks, but it isn’t the only way you can keep from slipping during the winter. Excessive use of salt damages plants’ ability to absorb nutrients, and can affect aquatic life if it’s washed into a water body.
3/21/19 World Water Day Contest & Celebration
In the Lake Champlain watershed we will be celebrating World Water Day on March 21, 2019 with a K-12 student contest! All student submissions of original art, videos, photography, and writing will be gathered for public viewing from 4:00 – 6:30 PM at the Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center in Burlington, VT, and guest speaker Dr. Danielle Garneau will present on “Plastics in Lake Champlain: How you can help”.
Water News from Near and Far
Biologists Seek Cause of Lake Champlain Salmon Decline
Biologists in Montpelier, VT question if a warm, dry fall is to blame for a drop in the Lake Champlain watershed’s landlocked salmon population – or whether there’s another reason. Salmon in the region have been declining for the past five years, and in 2018 their population was the lowest it’s been since 2009.
Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Flood Study 2017-2021
Recent public meetings were held to provide an update and get citizen input on the Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Flood Study which began in 2017 and will be completed in 2021. LCC’s Executive Director serves on the Public Advisory Group for the study. If you missed these meetings you can catch up on developments by watching the one held in Vermont online!
Invasive Alewife Wash Up at Rossetti Park in Mass Die-off
A mass die-off caused invasive alewife fish to wash up at Rossetti Park in Colchester, VT in late December. Thousands of the tiny herring coated 100 square feet of the lake’s shoreline. According to VT Fish and Wildlife fishery scientist Shawn Good, the die-off is the natural result of the alewife’s sensitivity to temperature fluctuations.
Q+A with Climatologist Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux
Vermont State climatologist Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux answers pressing questions about the effects climate change will have on the Northeast. Dupigny-Giroux contributed to the Fourth National Climate Assessment as the lead author of the Northeast chapter. The National Climate Assessment was a report published in late November 2018, focused on environmental, human health, and economic impacts of climate change in the U.S.
Communities Confront the Threat of Unregulated Chemicals in Their Drinking Water
“PARCHMENT, Mich. — The day this small town told its residents to stop drinking the water, life on Glendale Boulevard turned from quiet to alarming.” For years calls for polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, to be federally regulated have gone unanswered. This summer one more small town paid the price.
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), Sandy Montgomery – Treasurer (Montreal, QC), Alan Booth (Plattsburgh, NY), Cliff Landesman (Brooklyn, NY), Jess Phelps (Burlington, VT), Ann Ruzow Holland (Willsboro, NY), Hank Slauson (Shelburne, VT), Chuck Woessner (Grand Isle, VT).
Lake Champlain Committee Advisory Council
Lisa Borre (Annapolis, MD), Megan Epler Wood (Burlington, VT), Steven Kellogg (Essex, NY), Peter S. Paine Jr. (Willsboro, NY), Bob Paquin (Shelburne, VT), Mary Watzin (NC).
Lake Champlain Committee Staff
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