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Governor Phil Scott Proclaims July as Lakes Appreciation Month

July 1, 2024

For Immediate Release – July 1, 2024

Media Contact:
Laura Dlugolecki, Environmental Analyst
Department of Environmental Conservation

Governor Phil Scott Proclaims July as Lakes Appreciation Month

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott has proclaimed July as Lakes Appreciation Month in Vermont. Lakes and ponds are among Vermont’s most valuable natural resources. They offer countless benefits from drinking water and recreation to crucial fish and wildlife habitat. The Governor’s proclamation stresses the importance of the state’s 800-plus lakes and ponds for this and future generations.

“This July marks the 10-year anniversary of the Shoreland Protection Act," said Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Jason Batchelder. “In 2014, Vermont passed the Shoreland Protection Act to allow reasonable development along shorelands while protecting the benefits those areas provide to lakes.”

Vermont is facing unprecedented challenges due to climate change: from wildfire smoke clouding our skies to last year’s catastrophic flooding. By protecting water quality and habitat, the Shoreland Protection Act strengthens Vermont's natural communities and human communities alike to be more resilient to climate change’s harmful impacts.

In the 10 years since the Shoreland Protection Act has been in place, DEC has issued more than 1,000 Shoreland Protection permits for development that meets a set of protective standards on Vermont’s lakeshores. Regulated shoreland development, paired with voluntary best practices (guided by Vermont’s Lake Wise Program), work hand in hand to protect water quality and habitat along the lakeshore.

“Under the Shoreland Protection Act, many development projects along the lakeshore require additional practices to ensure clean water and provide healthy shoreland habitat,” said Misha Cetner, DEC Lakes Ecologist. “Our interaction with the public on these projects provides the opportunity to spread awareness about the benefits of planting native plants on the lakeshore and decreasing lawn area for the good of the lake.”

To celebrate Lakes Appreciation Month this year, visit one of the many State Parks on a Vermont lake. If you already live on a Vermont lake, show your appreciation for the lake and plant a native tree species along the shoreline. For years to come, that tree will help stabilize the shoreline, protect water quality, provide shoreline habitat, and offer some shade to keep you cool on a hot July day.


The Department of Environmental Conservation is responsible for protecting Vermont's natural resources and safeguarding human health for the benefit of this and future generations. Visit and follow the Department of Environmental Conservation on Facebook and Instagram.

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