Lake Champlain

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The new leader of the state's environmental agency is no stranger to the cleanup effort for Lake Champlain. Julie Moore is the newly named Agency of Natural Resources secretary and she's among our guests on the next Vermont Edition.

Environmental watchdogs say they’re heartened by Governor-elect Phil Scott’s pick to lead the Agency of Natural Resources, but that it’s too early to discern whether the incoming Republican administration is serious about cleaning up Lake Champlain and tackling some of the other major environmental issues facing Vermont.

The Scott administration wants to reallocation existing revenues to pay for clean water initiatives, but lawmakers are worried the plan could shortchange other state programs.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR/File

Next month, Vermont Treasurer Beth Pearce will unveil a much-anticipated legislative report that will tell lawmakers how to raise the $1.3 billion needed to clean up Lake Champlain and other polluted waterways. And Governor-elect Phil Scott may soon find himself at odds with Democrats — and environmental advocates — over how to come up with the money.

Courtesy / Lake Champlain International

State officials identified a potentially toxic bloom of cyanobacteria – also known as blue-green algae – in Mallets Bay earlier this week, after they had stopped monitoring the lake for the blooms for the season.

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When the Environmental Protection Agency mandated regulations for the cleanup of Lake Champlain, one concern was whether Vermont could actually meet those standards. Now a new study suggests that the bar the EPA has set may actually be too low, because the lake may be more susceptible to climate change than previously thought.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Lake Champlain water levels approached record lows this summer, which exposed acres of beach sand that would normally be underwater.  This allowed some rare — and a few endangered— species of sand-dwelling grass plants to blossom, some of which may have lain dormant for decades.

Next year, lawmakers will wrestle with one of the biggest financial challenges in state history, when they have to decide how to raise the estimated $1.3 billion needed to improve water quality across Vermont.

Courtesy of Drew Price

Lauren Dunn, a first-year student at St. Michael’s College, caught a pike in Lake Champlain that might be large enough to set a world record.

Cows on the Orr family's dairy farm, in Orwell, are pictured in this 2015 file photo. Anson Tebbetts, Vermont's agriculture secretary, spoke to VPR recently about Vermont's dairy industry and about challenges faced by the state's farmers.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR file

A Burlington-based company working on climate change solutions has won a federal grant to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Vermont farms. 

Mary Williams VPR Poster created by The Solidarity of Unbridled Labor

Erika Senft Miller is a dancer and choreographer who draws inspiration from specific sites and incorporates them into to her performances.

As an arts educator and steward of the land and the lake, Senft Miller has chosen to stage her latest site-specific piece at the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center on Burlington's waterfront.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

Vermont enacted a new law this year designed to keep people safe from potential health hazards in the water, but the law isn't working as intended. And some experts say it's ultimately up to Vermonters to protect themselves from lake toxins.

Vermont Department of Health

What has this summer looked like so far in terms algae blooms and the health of Lake Champlain? We're getting an update on the latest on the lake: the science of algae blooms and the state of the state's clean-up plan. 

Kathleen Masterson / VPR File

A federal official with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says a policy change in Vermont means the agency won’t be able to use chemicals to kill parasitic sea lamprey in Lake Champlain for at least two years.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

As the Village of Swanton makes plans to renovate a historic dam in the center of town, village officials say outside forces - from state regulators to environmental activists - are spending more time pointing out problems than looking for solutions.

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Pollution in Lake Champlain could lead to a significant decrease in the value of lakeside homes and a notable loss of tourism dollars being spent in the region, according to a new study.

Four Vermont environmental groups are teaming up to formally oppose the renovation of a dam in Swanton.

File Photo/Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Village of Swanton has ambitious plans to redevelop an old dam across the Missisquoi River as a hydroelectric facility, but environmental groups say the dam is threatening the downstream ecosystem and should be removed.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

It’s that time of year again. Reports of potentially toxic cyanobacteria, also known as blue green algae, have started coming in to the state of Vermont, and Burlington officials closed part of North Beach because of the bacteria.

The Fourth of July holiday weekend has come and gone, and it was a successful one on Lake Champlain as far as the Vermont State Police are concerned. While there were instances of boats that ran aground, the weekend was free of reported collisions and injuries, according to Cpl. Kevin Mays, field coordinator for the Vermont State Police Marine Division.

Authorities are still trying to determine the source of a weekend fuel leak into the Missisquoi River in Swanton.

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