Lake Champlain

Toby Talbot / AP

The federal government shutdown has delayed a key project in the state’s continuing effort to clean up Lake Champlain.

Environmental Conservation Commissioner David Mears said the state’s work with a team of EPA scientists and policy experts was put on hold this month because the federal officials were furloughed.

AP/ Toby Talbot

A federal budget squeeze threatens to cut off funding for equipment that researchers use to predict floods and pinpoint the amount of pollution flowing into Lake Champlain.

Ten stream gages in the Champlain watershed are scheduled to be turned off next month unless another funding source is found.

Senator Patrick Leahy is pressing for more research and education regarding the pollution-threatened Lake Champlain.

Leahy was among the dignitaries to speak at the start of a two-day environmental summit entitled "Blue Water in Green Mountains."

The gathering came as the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center turns 10 years old. Leahy said lake-based education and research preceded the building's opening, and must continue.