The recent federal government shutdown has affected millions across the country, and the impact is being felt on Lake Champlain as well. Here are some of the impacts:
The EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency) new phosphorus reduction budget for Lake Champlain – TMDL or Total Maximum Daily Load. (See “Cleaner Water” article) was scheduled to be released in draft form later this month, but it’s not clear that they’ll be able to do it because of the shutdown. The draft plan will likely call for additional regulations on roads, stormwater permits, agricultural lands, and floodplain development, but authority for new regulations and funding for incentives has to be approved by the Vermont legislature, which doesn’t reconvene until January. The longer the draft plan is delayed, the less time the legislature will have to review and absorb requirements set forth in it.
Fall is the time for developing budget priorities for the state and federal government. The Lake Champlain Basin Program Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) identifies priority projects for funding. However, a half-dozen members of that body are federal employees who are furloughed and unable to participate in the process during the shutdown. The absence of their valuable knowledge and experience severely limits the TAC’s ability to outline the most critical immediate next steps in managing the lake.
Although Vermont’s duck hunting season began on October 9, one of the more popular hunting locations on Lake Champlain may not be open to the public this year. The Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge in Franklin County Vermont has been closed as a result of the shutdown. No hunting or fishing is allowed in the refuge during the shutdown, and the Visitor Center has been shuttered.
- Missisquoi Bay Watershed Plan
- Judge’s Decision on cormorant control has Biologists feeling helpless
- Biologists Working to Save Lake Champlain’s Young Island
- VT Legislators Looking to Ban Microbeads in Vermont
- VT Agriculture Secretary Rules on Mandatory BMPs in Missisquoi Bay Basin
- Vermont Watershed Grants Help Vermont Lakes, Rivers and Habitat
- EPA Head in VT to Discuss Lake Champlain Clean-up Plans
- Lake Champlain Transportation to minimize air emissions and pay penalty
- Government Shutdown Affects Lake Champlain
- Butternut Hill Natural Area: Nature Snapshot
- Water Flows Downhill
- Easement Protects Over 1,300 Acres In Essex County
- Why was a famous local Brewmaster talking about zebra mussels?
- Crosby tract preserves wetlands habitat along Lake Champlain
- Lake Trout Moving “Below the Surface” of Lake Champlain
- Shrinking the Phosphorus Cycle: Lake Champlain, Phosphorus, and Time (and Patience)
- Middlebury College’s New Lake Champlain Research Vessel is Home
- The Next Invasive SpeciesThreat to Lake Champlain
- New Weapon to Combat Sea Lamprey in Lake Champlain
- Sea Lamprey in Lake Champlain
- A Dinosaur Among Us- The Lake Sturgeon
- Have You Signed the Petition to Close The Champlain Canal Yet?
- New York State Acquires 156 Acres of Lake Champlain Wetlands
- Champlain Hudson Power Express Progress Update
- Lake Champlain Phosphorus Levels (20 year chart)
- Blue-Green Algae Tips
- How You Can Prevent Invasive Species Expansion
- Other Invasive Threats to Lake Champlain
- Invasive Plants
- Invasive Invertebrates
- Invasive Fish Species
- Invasive Species in Lake Champlain
- Champlain Hudson Power Express
- Vermont to Preserve Lake Champlain Marsh