March 12th – At dusk today I left my home with my camera and the puppy to see what was happening with the water. Spring thaw was in full swing and it had been raining most of the day and I had to head out to the Rock River to get some water samples for our study that we have been conducting for the past 3 years. It was still raining when I left the house. I started up the hill from my house in St. Albans toward High Street. Right away I saw water sheeting across the road and down the other side moving debris, leaves and other items. I then headed up towards Prospect Street. Friends of Northern Lake Champlain and the City of St. Albans have grant from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to look at storm water solutions for Prospect Street. After what I saw tonight, I am really glad this is an area that has been identified by Paul Madden and Julie Moore and the City of St. Albans to fix.
The water was gushing down off Hard’Ack between the Casavant’s and Cioffi’s House and forming a stream. I wondered to myself if that stream always appears in the spring or if this was a first. Funny what you don’t notice if it is not your job to notice. It got me thinking about how water runs downhill. If you have a house or use a car and drive on the roads or even if you live in a valley. Water somehow has to flow by you or your property or the roads you drive on to get to the basin. The basin we live in is Lake Champlain and that basin is in trouble and that basin is our responsibility. We all need to be part of the solution. Again, I started thinking about how many people may not even see or notice this if it is not their job or if they do not see or visit the Lake. I am not sure I realized what kind of trouble the lake was in until we started spending time down there at our summer camp. I hear stories about how the Bay Park in St. Albans used to attract hundreds of people 50 years ago. You would be lucky to find 10 people on a beautiful summer day in July. So what’s happened and why are so few people noticing?This blog is my exploration of these questions and more. It will be an informal blog with ideas, discussions, thoughts, and what I’m working on with Friends of Northern Lake Champlain. I hope that this sparks ways that you might be able to join us in this work. I know tonight when I was driving from St. Albans through Sheldon and then into Highgate to the Rock River, I felt overwhelmed by the brown water flowing down hill.
Rock River – running through and over our land.How can we solve this – can we solve this? The change in land management on farms, increased impervious surfaces in town, and even in rural areas, has increased the amount of runoff and with that runoff come pollution and some of that pollution that drains off of our lands and winds up in the lake. This what is causing some of the most detrimental health problems in Lake Champlain! Driving around tonight is what has inspired me to start to write this blog. Maybe I can help be other people’s eyes and conscience about water and explain what I see and observe. The Friends of Northern Lake Champlain (FNLC) is a local non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the amount of run-off in our watershed. We have been working with farmers, government agencies, citizens and municipalities for the past 11 years on practices that will help to reduce run-off from the land. For more information on this project and how you can get involved in our organization and support our mission, please contact Denise Smith, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lake Champlain reflects you, reflects us all. Our reflection looks better in clean water. Make it happen.
This post was originally published by the Friends of Northern Lake Champlain