Steering Committee Allocates $1.8 Million to help
Implement the Management Plan for Lake Champlain
The Lake Champlain Steering
Committee recently allocated $1.8 million funds for
projects designed to implement Opportunities for
Action: An Evolving Plan for the Future of the Lake
Champlain Basin released by the Lake Champlain Basin
Program in 19996 and approved by Governors Pataki
(NY) and Dean (VT). The funds were made available
through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
"I was very encouraged that
the President included the Lake Champlain Basin
Program in his 1999 EPA budget request and that we
were able to add additional appropriations," said
U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy. Since the Basin
Program's inception in 1990, the NY and VT
congressional delegation had to add the money
through additional appropriations.
Key elements of the LCBP's
1999 budget include $141,534 for phosphorus
reduction efforts, $241,044 for managing normative
nuisance aquatic species and $355,838 for monitoring
water quality and ecological systems. Other issues
addressed included education and outreach efforts,
fish and wildlife management issues including osprey
and lamprey, agricultural monitoring, stream
projects, the underwater survey and grants for local
"Local groups are key to
implementing this plan, so the Steering Committee
set aside over $250,000 for local grant programs,"
said Buzz Hoerr, Chair of the Vermont Citizens
Advisory Committee (CAC). "The NY, VT and Quebec
CACs provide a voice for citizens issues such as the
need for harvesting water chestnuts, improving
public access and reducing phosphorus levels."
"Many citizens would also like
to see a joint NY and VT fishing license for Lake
Champlain," said Ron Ofner, Chair of the New York
Citizens Advisory Committee. "We realize that there
are revenue issues that need to be addressed by the
States. The $5,000 allocated this year may be used
by New York and Vermont to begin a joint marketing
effort explaining the Lake's fishery."
"The Lake Champlain Basin
Program's 1999 budget complements and leverages
other funds available at the state or local level,"
added Stuart Buchanan, Regional Director, New York
State DEC in Raybrook, NY. "For example, in the last
round of New York's Bond Act funding, $5 million
dollars helped to implement agricultural BMPs and
several community based projects."
Canute Dalmasse, Vermont's
Commissioner of the Department of Environmental
Conservation agrees. "The Agency will use some of
the LCBP funds in Vermont to supplement a stream
stability assessment. Unstable streams can increase
flooding, create property damage and cause severe
erosion, carrying sediment to Lake Champlain through
rivers and streams. The ~LCBP funds will also be
used to supplement state funds for controlling water
chestnuts in the South Lake."
State and local projects
funded through the Lake Champlain Basin Program,
require at least a 25% match.
In addition to the $1.8
million from the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency, federal funds for Lake Champlain will also
be available through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Department of