CASIN’ THE BASIN - Lake Champlain Basin Lake Baikal, Laguna Lake, Lake Ohrid, Lake Peipsi/Chudskoe,

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  • or those who enjoy Lake Champlain by sail- ing on a breezy summer afternoon, taking a moonlight dip on a warm evening, or casting out a fishing line, it is natural to be inter-

    ested in preserving and improving the Lake’s water quality. Good water quality is one of the major themes in the management plan for the Lake Champlain basin because it is essential to the lake’s health and there is strong public interest. Citizens groups, government programs and university person- nel collect water samples and monitor water quality data for Lake Champlain and its tributaries. Scien- tists are using the data to track our progress toward better water quality and a healthier ecosystem.

    CASIN’ THE BASIN Lake Champlain Basin Program

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    1 S U M M E R / F A L L 1 9 9 9 NUMBER IVOLUME VII


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    Basin Waves – page 2. Trailing Lake Champlain’s Birds – page 9.

    Check out the LCBP On-line!

    F Pete Stangel, Aquatic Biologist with Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation samples Lake Champlain’s waters.

    By Andrea Donlon

    Celebrate the Lake – page 7.

    VT DEC

    Keeping an Eye on the Lake 1

    Basin Waves and Events 2

    Public Meetings 3

    CAC Awards to Local Groups 6

    Underwater Survey 7

    New Cultural Heritage & Recreation Awards 8

    Trailing Lake Champlain’s Birds 9


    Sea Grant Update 9

    Reader Survey 10

    Local Implementation Awards 11

    Champlain 2000 11

    Keeping an Eye on the Lake



    BASIN WAVES. . . Good news from around the Lake Champlain Basin!

    • The LCBP would like to thank to Janet Swentusky and the AuSable River Association for hosting a watershed association workshop on April 10th at AuSable Valley School. Thirty participants and eight watershed groups at- tended. Guest speakers gave presentations about fish habitat, grant writing, nutrient sources, wetlands, record keeping, public access, volun- teer recruitment, and stream bank protection. The next watershed group meeting will be held later this year. April’s workshop was co-spon- sored by the LCBP and Cornell Cooperative Extension.

    • Two hundred students from H.O. Wheeler and Champlain Elementary schools in Burlington and Orchard Elementary in South Burlington participated in the Winooski Valley Park District’s (WVPD) State of the Winooski Basin Youth Conference during May. Students represented stakeholders involved in reducing phosphorus, such as farmers, homeowners, wastewater treatment plant opera- tors, and loggers. WVPD received an LCBP watershed education grant this year and will use US EPA funds next year to involve students from Winooski and Essex. For more information contact the WVPD at (802) 863-5744.

    • The LCBP’s education and outreach staff gave presenta- tions to over 25 school and community groups in the Basin this spring. Partici- pants learned about polluted runoff by using Enviroscape’s watershed model, saw a slideshow about Lake Champlain, or learned about wetlands by partici- pating in a “wetlands metaphor” activity. The staff also reached 900 students through the Ecosystem Exposition in Poultney, VT; Essex County Field Days in Keene and Penfield, NY and the Winooski Valley Park District’s Con- servation Field Day in Burlington, VT. To schedule a visit, call the LCBP at (800) 468-5227.

    • Boaters will want to check out the Lake Champlain Committee’s new Bilingual Boating Guide in French and English. The guide pro- motes environmentally sound practices, safety tips and information on preventing the spread of invasive species. Call the LCC to receive a copy (free + postage) at (802) 658-1414.

    • Eighteen educators attended the Champlain Basin Education Initiative (CBEI) workshop, “Stewards of the Land: Farming for Water Qual-

    ity in the Champlain Basin” at Shelburne Farms in April. Educators learned about phosphorus with Anita Deming, Cornell Cooperative Extension; water quality with Amy Picotte, Vermont DEC and macroinvertebrates with Mark Skelding, Foodworks. Teachers also met with local farmers and Lindsey Ketchel of the Vermont Department of Agri- culture. Shelburne Farms dairy manager, Sam Dixon, and researcher, Don Meals, gave a tour of the dairy barn and discussed best manage- ment practices. For more information about CBEI contact the LCBP at (800) 468-5227.

    • More and more students are exploring and learning about the lake while on the water. Students from Rutland High School spent several weeks in May canoeing from Otter Creek to the Canadian border. Check their website at welcome.htm. Students from Addison County Schools recently launched an authentic long boat they built at the Lake Champlain Mari- time Museum. The students rowed a portion of the lake and stopped along the way to visit other schools. Contact the Maritime Museum for more information at (802) 475-2022.

    • The Gordon Center House in Grand Isle, Vermont received approval from the Vermont legisla- ture for renovations, which are now underway. The LCBP anticipates moving back to the house during 2000.

    • Calling all birders! Green Mountain Audubon Society seeks volunteers to complete avian checklists while visiting 11 wildlife management refuges in Northwestern Vermont. Sites include Snake Mountain and Little Otter Creek in Addison County and Mud Creek in Alburg. This project was funded through a Partnership Pro- gram grant from the LCBP. For more information and a list of sites call Mark LaBarr at (802) 434- 3068 or e-mail him at

    • A new guide for dentists about reducing, recycling and properly disposing waste mercury amalgam, which is commonly used in fillings is now available. The National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) and Vermont Dental Society’s “The Environmentally Friendly Dental Office” promotes voluntary pollution prevention and proper handling techniques. For more information contact the NWF at (802) 229-0650.

    • Vermont Citizens Advisory Committee chair, Buzz Hoerr, represented Lake Champlain at the Lake ’99 Conference in Copenhagen, Nether- lands in May. During the conference, members of LakeNet convened for the first time. LakeNet is a project of Monitor International which facilitates informational exchanges on watershed management. Other participating lakes included Lake Baikal, Laguna Lake, Lake Ohrid, Lake Peipsi/Chudskoe, Lake Titicaca, Lake Toba, and Lake Victoria. For more information contact Monitor International at (410) 268-5155.





    September 24, 7 PM. “The History and Ecology of the Black Bear,” a talk by Richard Sage of the Adirondack Ecologi- cal Center. Ticonderoga Historical Society’s Hancock House, Ticonderoga, NY. Info: (518) 585-7868.

    September 25, 10 AM to 3 PM. Missisquoi Wildlife Refuge Open House. River boat tours, birding walks, canoe trips, and exhibits. Refuge Head- quarters, Swanton, VT. Info: (802) 868- 4781.

    October 25-27. Workshop: “Measuring Progress in Your Watershed: Develop- ing Indicators and Reporting Systems.” Ramada Inn Conference Center, Burlington, VT. Info: Sue Thomas, Green Mountain Institute for Environmental Democracy (802) 229-6073.

    November 4-5. Conference: “Ways of the Woods: Culture, Heritage, and the Evolving Economy of the Northern Forest,” Eagle Mountain House, Jackson, New Hampshire. Contact the Northern Forest Center at (603) 229-0679 or email

    November 5-7. Abenaki Studies Confer- ence: “Reflections of Remembering and Forgetting: Revisiting the Original Vermonters.” University of Vermont. Info: Cindy Longwell at (802) 656-3884.

    The Youth Conference.

    Nicole Ballinger of the LCBP explains the watershed model.

    Educators at Shelburne Farms.

    Scafolding on the Gordon-Center House.




    Public Meetings Discuss Progress ’99

    The LCBP recently hosted four public meetings to receive comments on Progress ’99: An Opportu- nities for Action Implementation Report, general comments on Lake Champlain’s management and the Draft Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Management Plan. Meetings were held at four locations in the Basin during July and August. The LCBP would like to thank the citizens and Basin organizations who attended.

    Introductory presentations were made by mem- bers of the Vermont and New York CACs. LCBP’s Technical Coordinator, Barry Gruessner, pre- sented an overview of Progress ’99 and Michael Hauser of the Vermont DEC presented a sum- mary of the Draft ANS Management Plan. Public comments were recorded at the meeting and will be forwarded to the Lake Champlain Steering Committee and the Vermont, New York and Quebec Citizen Advisory Committees for review this fall. Comments are also being accepted by mail.

    Progress ’99 Available

    Progress ’99 reports on progress towards the implementation of Opportunities for Action, the management plan for Lake Champlain during 199