Lake Champlain becomes ‘Great Lake’… Well almost!

As reported in the Burlington Free Press 2-19-1998

“Vermonters have always considered Lake Champlain the ‘Sixth Great Lake’,” according to Sen. Patrick Leahy, Democrat from Vermont. Leahy spearheaded the move to have Lake Champlain designated a “Great Lake”. This federal designation makes Lake Champlain eligible to compete for 50 million dollars for Lake Research under the Federal National Sea Grant Program.

Vermont’s federal delegation has worked hard to create research and cleanup dollars for the Lake Region. In 1990, Congress passed the Lake Champlain Special Designation Act, which created the Lake Champlain Basin Program, dedicated to producing a cleanup plan for the lake. Since then three million dollars has been spend to investigate the lake’s ills including:

Toxic contaminants

Sea Lamprey control

Zebra Mussels

According to Mary Watzin, associate professor at the University of Vermont’s school of natural resources, the Sea Grant money is helpful for the lake because it is earmarked for researching practical management problems, of which the lake has many. “There are lots of unanswered question out there”, she said.