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ECHO Seeks Watershed Resilience Project Teams for 2017 Leahy Center Environmental Summit

November 23, 2016

Looking for guidance, expert advice and funding for your watershed resilience project?  Bring your team to the 2017 Leahy Center Environmental Summit scheduled for March 2017 and you'll have the opportunity to learn from successful, multi-sector, multi-town watershed resilience projects, and develop a project and grant proposal that will be well-positioned for application with selected public and private grant programs.

“The Leahy Summit provides an exceptional opportunity for watershed organizations, farm groups, lake associations, conservation districts and others to come together to formulate solutions that can improve water quality and strengthen local resilience to future flood impacts," explains Kari Dolan, the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Clean Water Initiative Program Manager. "The Summit is becoming an important incubator of good ideas, which is quite exciting. The outcomes are often well-thought out strategies that are grassroots led, watershed-based, and influenced by local wisdom. We look forward to assisting in this process again this year."


In 2015, more than 150 regional environmental leaders gathered at the second Leahy Center Environmental Summit, entitled “Climate Change Resilient, Floodwater Smart.”  They joined forces to talk about resiliency and to develop innovative solutions to preserve and protect waterways.  Summit teams had the opportunity to apply for project funding from the High Meadows Fund (HMF) and Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP), and most are now collaborating on cross-sector watershed initiatives that promote public awareness of resiliency and implementing projects to improve water quality. 

"The Leahy Summit catalyzed our team's action by getting our partners in one place together with the guidance to develop a strong climate change resilience project and successful grant proposal." says Corrie Miller, Executive Director of Friends of the Mad River.

The 2017 Leahy Center Environmental Summit

Building on the success of the 2015 Summit, ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain seeks multi-sector project teams to participate at the next Summit scheduled for March 2017.  New teams will develop watershed-level climate change resilience projects, such as on-the-ground implementation projects, public engagement and outreach, and tool and model development.  As with the 2015 Summit, teams will prepare project proposals for selected public and private grant programs.  

Watershed teams from the 2015 Summit will share their projects' progress and lessons learned, and provide guidance to new project teams.  Click here for descriptions of projects funded by the High Meadows Fund.  Click here for descriptions of projects funded by the Lake Champlain Basin Program.

The time commitment for new teams is approximately 20 hours for pre-Summit calls/meetings and participation at the two-day Summit.  Scholarships and stipends are available.  

The application deadline is December 16, 2016.  Understanding the tight timeline, the Summit Steering Committee seeks teams' concepts with some level of detail.  Click here for an application.  For more information about participating as a new project team, contact Barry Lampke at