LCC Seeking Volunteers to monitor the lake

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LCC Seeking Volunteers to monitor the lake

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 4:18am -- tim

The Lake Champlain Committee (LCC) is looking for citizens interested in monitoring shoreline locations for blue-green algae blooms. Since 2003 LCC has coordinated an award-winning volunteer blue-green algae monitoring program along the lake’s shoreline working in collaboration with Vermont and New York environmental and health agencies. Volunteer monitors assess water conditions from over 50 sites around the lake.

"Involving citizens in a scientifically-based monitoring program greatly expands the data set beyond what state and federal agencies could gather on their own," said LCC Executive Director Lori Fisher. "It also gives people an opportunity to play an active role on an issue great public interest and concern."

Volunteers monitor a specific location once per week through the summer season (mid-June through Labor Day) and report results via LCC’s online form. LCC is looking for volunteers with weekly access to the lake near areas where recreation and water contact occurs. Weekly monitoring generally takes between 15  to 30 excluding transit with more time required during suspected or actual blooms.

From June 9 through June 13 LCC will host ten information and training sessions on blue-green algae. Anyone interested in learning more about the lake or becoming a monitor for the 2014 season is encouraged to attend. RSVP to LCC online or by phone at (802) 658-1414.  

Upcoming LCC Blue-green Algae Monitor Training Sessions

Monday, June 9


-2:30 PM - Lake Champlain Basin Program Office
54 West Shore Road, Grand Isle, VT


Tuesday, June 10 
-10:00 AM - Point Au Roche Nature Center
19 Camp Red Cloud Road, Plattsburgh, NY

-12:00 PM - Clinton County Health Department
133 Margaret St, Plattsburgh, NY

-3:30 PM - Shelburne Town Hall
5420 Shelburne Road, Shelburne, VT

Wednesday, June 11
-10:00 AM - Lake Champlain Committee Office
208 Flynn Ave, Studio 3F, Burlington, VT

-4:00 PM - Crete Center
Crete Center Road, Plattsburgh, NY

-7:00 PM - Folsom School
75 South Street, South Hero, VT

Thursday, June 12
-9:00 AM - Kingsland Bay State Park
North Ferrisburgh, VT

-6:00 PM - Lake Champlain Committee Office
208 Flynn Ave, Studio 3F, Burlington, VT
pizza provided at this training session

Friday, June 13
-9:30 AM - Norton LaTourelle’s Studio
Route 73, Shoreham, VT

Volunteer Monitoring Training & Requirements

LCC will train monitors to assess and categorize water conditions and differentiate blue-green algae from other lake phenomena. Trainings will also cover the risks posed by blue-green algae, what triggers blooms, and actions everyone can take to reduce bloom frequency. Monitors observe water conditions at the same location generally on the same day of the week between 10 AM and 3 PM. During those hours algae have a chance to rise from lower in the water column, but cells are less likely to have ruptured from the heat of mid-day. Weekly reports are submitted to LCC via an online form. If a blue-green algae bloom is seen or suspected, volunteers submit digital photo documentation by email. All reports are reviewed by LCC and observations received by Wednesday at noon will populate the Lake Champlain blue-green algae tracking map housed at the Vermont Department of Health. The data are also provided weekly to beach managers, public health and environmental agencies, volunteer monitors, and interested citizens. Contact LCC at (802) 658-1414 or to receive weekly reports, become a monitor, or learn more about the issue.