Lake Champlain Committee
Spring Ripples 2020 E-News
We hope the advent of spring—with shoots pushing up through the earth, salamanders moving to vernal pools, and bird calls filling the air—soothes your spirits during these challenging times. In this issue of the Lake Champlain Committee’s Ripples E-newsletter we share some signs of the season, cool science articles, and ways you can stay virtually connected to lake issues while we physically distance. Read on to learn how you can “Zoom a Scientist”, participate in our annual April Stools’ Day when you venture out for a daily walk, and where to properly dispose of disinfectant wipes.
Please know that while the LCC staff are no longer at the office, we are working hard daily from our kitchen tables to protect the waters that cleanse and restore us.
Stay healthy and safe and take good care of all you can,
Lori Fisher, LCC Executive Director
Soap & Water: A Killer Combo
At LCC we love science and water—and feel grateful to immerse ourselves in those topics every day. Click here to read the Vox article about the really cool science behind why soap and water is a killer combo in protecting us against Covid-19.
Wipes Clog Pipes
As we all work to address the Covid-19 pandemic, keep in mind that wipes clog pipes, even if they are marketed as “flushable.” Click here to read the New York Times article about backed-up sewer lines in the wake of the coronavirus.You can also read LCC’s Clean Lake Tip, Dodge the Clogs, to learn more about how wastewater treatment and septic systems are designed to handle the four Ps—pee, poop, puke, and (toilet) paper—and nothing else.
Zoom A Scientist!
Over the next few weeks, our friends at Lake Champlain Sea Grant team will be hosting “Zoom a Scientist,” an interactive, virtual webinar series focused on watershed and aquatic science. The programs will feature scientists from the University of Vermont Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory, SUNY Plattsburgh, the Lake Champlain Research Institute, and other organizations. Every Tuesday and Friday from noon until 1:00 p.m. scientists will lead viewers through the Lake Champlain watershed and share their research. While most of the content in the series has been developed for middle and high school students, folks of all ages are welcome!
April Stools’ Day
Deserted dog doo is a nasty addition to the bottom of an innocent passersby’s shoe—and to Lake Champlain. Canine feces left on hard surfaces like a sidewalk or compacted soil can wash into storm drains during any precipitation event. From there, they enter streams or the lake, which nearly 200,000 people rely on for their drinking water. Most pet owners conscientiously clean-up after their dogs, but those who don’t create an issue for people and waterways.
That impact on waterways was the reason the Lake Champlain Committee (LCC) began organizing April Stools’ Day events over a decade ago.
Spring Sun on the Water
As we turn our faces toward the sun to soak up the rays of longer days, the natural world is adjusting too. A period of transition for humans, plants, wildlife, and Lake Champlain, the Vernal (Spring) Equinox, took place on March 19, 2020.
Water News from Near and Far
In this edition of LCC’s Ripples E-newsletter, we offer some ways to explore our backyard, links to online resources if you’re home with the kids, a pitch for picking up after pets, and a lake and land mystery.
Outdoor Playgrounds Around Lake Champlain
As we physically distance ourselves from each other and try to flatten the curve for Covid-19 infection, getting outside every day will help bring solace and soothe spirits. Click here to read an article on the Seven Days website about three spots you can explore along Lake Champlain. But if you can’t access these sites by foot or pedal power currently, please hold off on visiting them until “stay at home” orders are no longer in effect. This is a time to stay very local and focus on muscle powered recreation when you go outdoors.
Time in Nature Benefits Your Health
Just as you care for water and natural spaces, let them care for you during these challenging times. Click here to read a recent study on the Yale University website that shows that just two hours a week spent in nature has measurable health benefits, even if the time is split over several days.
Scoop the Poop!
Left behind dog poop affects waterways everywhere, which is why a Michigan reporter contacted LCC’s Executive Director, Lori Fisher, to learn more about our April Stools’ Days. Word of our annual scoop the poop events has been circulating throughout the Great Lakes region to encourage responsible pet poop pick-up.
The Largest Island in the Largest Lake in the…
“If Moose Boulder existed, it would be the largest island in the largest lake on the largest island in the largest lake on the largest island in the largest lake in the world.” Say that three times fast—but wait, there’s more to this tongue twister!
New Address or Email?
LCC mail is being forwarded to LCC’s Executive Director’s home while we work remotely and follow “stay at home” orders to slow the Covid-19 infection. Your mail will still get to us so please keep those envelopes coming! Help us stay connected to you during this time of physical distancing by emailing us any changes to your mailing or email addresses. Thanks for keeping in touch!
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 (Northfield, 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).
Staff & Support
Lori Fisher, Executive Director
Alexa Hachigian, Field Associate/Office Manager
Lauren Sopher, Director of Science and Water Programs
Jared Carpenter, Water Protection Advocate
Grace Jia, ECO AmeriCorps Education and Outreach Coordinator
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Lake Champlain Committee208 Flynn Ave Bldg 3Studio 3fBurlington, VT 05401-5429