Lake Champlain

Special Studies


vernal pool in winter and summer

The Watershed Management Division participates in “special studies” when the need arises, such as: 

Cyanobacteria in Vermont

Cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae) are common native organisms in lakes, ponds and rivers around the world.  In Vermont, they can be found in any water body, river or stream.  Some species of cyanobacteria produce toxins and these toxins have been documented in some Vermont lakes.  Cyanobacteria are not always toxic and it is not possible to tell by looking if toxins are present.  For this reason, the Vermont Department of Health and the Vermont DEC recommend that everyone avoid contact with cyanobacteria.

Zebra Mussel Monitoring Program

Lake Champlain Basin Program logoLake Champlain Zebra Mussel Monitoring Program

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VTDEC), in cooperation with the Lake Champlain Basin Program, initiated the Lake Champlain Zebra Mussel Monitoring Program in 1994 to track the zebra mussel's distribution through the lake. Reports are provided annually.

Lake Champlain Long-term Monitoring Project

several sailboats moored on lake champlain

The Lake Champlain Long-Term Water Quality and Biological Monitoring Project (LTMP) is designed to measure overall ecosystem health of Lake Champlain based on key ecosystem indicators and to assess long-term effects of management actions and other environmental changes.

Mercury and Other Persistent Pollutants

Vermonter's are fortunate to have lakes and ponds that, for the most part, clean, clear, and enjoyable. When admiring the vistas from Lake Willoughby, cooling off on a hot summer day at Sunset Lake in Benson, or fishing Somerset Reservoir, it is tough to imagine that VT has a problem with heavy metals like mercury, or with other persistent organic pollutants such as PCB's and DDT. Unfortunately, though, contamination of our lakes by mercury is widespread throughout the state, and contamination by other persistent chemicals, while scattered, is indeed a problem.

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