Without fanfare on March 7, 1998, President Bill Clinton signed a bill giving Lake Champlain official designation as one of the Great Lakes, at least as far as Federal research money goes. On March 25, 1998 Congress voted to rescind the ‘Great Lake’ designation for Lake Champlain.
The designation allowed Lake Champlain to receive Sea Grant funding. Although the designation was quickly revoked, the funding still exists. This is funding is important, because Lake Champlain is connected to the Great Lakes and faces many similar issues including invasive aquatic species, as well as, phosphorus over-loading.
Lake Champlain Sea Grant is dedicated to improving the understanding and management of Lake Champlain, Lake George and their watersheds for long-term environmental health and sustainable economic development.
A cooperative program of the University of Vermont and SUNY Plattsburgh, Lake Champlain Sea Grant is a part of a national network of 35 projects and programs at coastal and Great Lakes colleges, coordinated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The move had angered some lawmakers from the Great Lakes states. ”If Lake Champlain ends up as a Great Lake, I propose we rename it ‘Lake Plain Sham,’ ” said Representative Steven C. LaTourette, an Ohio Republican who co-chaired the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force.
Lake Champlain is not even the sixth largest lake in the United States – in area or in volume. It is only sixth in the United States in terms of its length. Although not a ‘Great Lake’ anymore, Lake Champlain is still a great lake!
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