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Updated “Opportunities for Action” to Guide Lake Champlain Management

Posted on Wednesday, June 8th, 2022 | Posted in Lake Champlain, News

During a lakeside event on June 3, the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) released an update to its  management plan, “Opportunities for Action: An Evolving Plan for the Future of the Lake Champlain Basin.” U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, representatives from New York, Vermont, and Québec, and EPA officials from Boston and New York City were in attendance for the plan signing ceremony. The plan will guide the LCBP’s work over the next five years to improve water quality and aquatic ecosystem health in the watershed.

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy speaks at the LCBP event.

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy addressed attendees at the plan signing ceremony along the banks of Lake Champlain in Grand Isle, Vermont.

“The success of this plan hinges on the involvement of the public and engagement of local organizations,” said Eric Howe, NEIWPCC program director of the Lake Champlain Basin Program and Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership. “Opportunities for Action” must ensure that communities within the Lake Champlain Basin – from Lake Placid, New York to Sutton, Québec, to Mt. Tabor, Vermont – understand and appreciate the value of Lake Champlain to their communities and have the capacity to do their part to improve the health of the watershed.”

Eric Howe, director of the Lake Champlain Basin Program, at the Opportunities for Action signing event.

Eric Howe, director of the Lake Champlain Basin Program, oversees the signing of the new plan. Shown here: EPA Region 1 Administrator David Cash; EPA Region 2 Watershed Management Branch Supervisor Rick Balla; Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore; and New York Department of Environmental Conservation Executive Deputy Commissioner Sean Mahar.

The plan lays out objectives and strategies to address four primary goals: clean water, healthy ecosystems, thriving communities, and an informed and involved public. The 2022 version of “Opportunities for Action” is its fifth iteration, addressing the latest challenges and opportunities surrounding nutrient loading, aquatic invasive species, habitat conservation, cultural heritage preservation and more. The plan also highlights two overarching goals: addressing the impacts of a changing climate on water quality and ecosystem health of the Lake Champlain watershed, and including diverse voices in decision processes and supporting communities with environmental justice concerns related to the lake.

NEIWPCC Executive Director Susan Sullivan said, “NEIWPCC is pleased to continue supporting the Lake Champlain Basin Program and its partners with the unveiling of this update to Opportunities for Action. Coordinating the management of our invaluable aquatic ecosystems across the region is critical to continued progress in water quality. The Lake Champlain Steering Committee and LCBP staff are now poised to work with partners to address the critical topics of climate change and environmental justice.”

Group photo of Lake Champlain Basin Program staff.

Lake Champlain Basin Program staff are joined by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy and his wife, Marcelle.

For more information about the plan, go to the Lake Champlain Basin Program website.