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Water Quality A Hot Topic In Vermont And At LSC

- by Martha Pofit

The Lake St. Catherine Association, its Board of Directors and members are highly committed to preserving and protecting Lake St. Catherine water quality and its watershed as well as preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Four recent significant developments are worthy of reporting to the LSCA membership and friends:

1. The Board of Directors approved the issuance of a landmark manuscript this fall that was developed during the spring and early summer entitled: “Lake St. Catherine Association Evidence-Based Decision-Making: 1978-2018”.

The manuscript captures the actions taken by LSCA over the past 40 years, gives a current snapshot of issues affecting the Lake and discusses future considerations. It was written by Tufts graduate Philip Hicks of Granville and overseen by LSCA Board members.

2. The LSCA manuscript was highlighted in the Vermont Federation of Lakes and Ponds (FOVLAP) Fall newsletter as a potential template for other lakes and sent to all FOVLAP members. The article and link to the manuscript is identified below:

Manuscript Outlines Issues at Lake St. Catherine

A manuscript portraying the past, present and future issues at Lake St. Catherine has been approved by the Board of Lake St. Catherine Association. It is entitled: “Lake St. Catherine Association Evidence-Based Decision-Making: 1978-2018.” The 34-page document and appendices could serve as a template for other lakes seeking a common understanding of lake issues. The report looks at measuring water quality, protecting the watershed, mitigating invasive species, cultivating a healthy ecology for fish and wildlife, and promoting recreational safety. You can review it at: https://goo.gl/Mt84S2

3. In December, LSCA Board Member, Martha Pofit was appointed Chair of the Legislative Committee of FOVLAP. In this role, Martha wrote to the Vermont Governor’s office in early January inquiring about federal and state funding for Vermont’s Lakes and received the following response:

“Thank you for your inquiry to the office of Governor Phil Scott, about the status of federal funding for clean water projects and watershed improvement. Fortunately, Vermont continued to receive federal funds through 2018, and we were reassured that federal funding would continue in the future. See our 2018 Federal Funding Report for details of watershed project funding.  You may also be interested in the Clean Water Initiative Program’s 2017 Investment Report.The 2018 Investment Report is in preparation for delivery to the State House early in the legislative session and will be posted on the Department of Environmental Conservation’s website at that time.

In addition to clean water funding, we receive federal funding to support aquatic invasive species spread prevention and aquatic nuisance control. These funds are used to augment income from motorboat registration fees in support of the Lakes Program’s Grant-In-Aid Program.”

Lake St. Catherine will shortly be applying to the Grant-In-Aid Program for its next five year permit and has been aggressive this fall in applying for four grants from the Lake Champlain Basin Program for: Pollution Prevention & Habitat Conservation; Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention; Education and Outreach; and Organizational Support for Membership Recruitment, Retention and Education”

4. Governor Scott presented his Inaugural Address for 2019 to both houses of the Vermont Legislature on January 10 and made two important comments pertaining to Vermont Lakes. Specifically:

“We’re committed to restoring and protecting our lakes and rivers, which will cost Vermonters nearly $1 billion over the next 20 years.”, and

“And my budget will propose a long-term funding source for our water quality initiatives, using existing revenues and a new delivery model to put this money to work on the ground.”

The next step in understanding the “new delivery model” will be the language in the Governor’s Budget Message to the Legislature scheduled for January 24. The full text of the Inaugural Address can be found at read by clicking here. You can read more in this VT Digger article, "Statehouse preview: Eyes on the environment".

Lake St. Catherine Association will continue to be active on all issues affecting the Lake, will represent your interests at the state level, and report important development to the LSCA members.

For further information on any of the above items, feel free at any time to contact LSCA President Jim Canders at jim.canders@lakestcatherine.org.

 

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