Over the past decade Friends of Northern Lake Champlain has shown tremendous leadership in the area of public engagement and persistence in bringing the problems in the Northern Lake and our watershed to public officials and state agencies. Through the leadership of Pixley Tyler Hill, Roger Rainville, Kent Henderson, Paul Madden and many other who have served on our Board and have been part of our organization, we have consistently shared the message of the importance of addressing the issues in the Northern Lake.
Currently, our Executive Director, Denise Smith serves on the Citizens Advisory Council for lake Champlain, a position appointed by the Governor. She is also on the steering committee for a newly formed statewide watershed organization, Watersheds United of Vermont, and is also participating in the newly formed Water Monitoring Council and Water Caucus. She was also a member of the Agriculture Innovations Committee convened by the Environmental Mediation Center. Kent Henderson, the current Chair of Friends of Northern Lake Champlain serves on the Technical Advisory Council for the Natural Resources Conservation Service and has been very active in bringing awareness of this problem and opening the conversation to many of the municipal boards and landowners.
What have we been up to lately? Friends of Northern Lake Champlain partnered with Missisquoi River Basin Association and Franklin Watershed Committee to host a bus tour for legislators. Almost all of Franklin County’s newly elected House and Senate representatives were in attendance, as well as a few folks from Grand Isle County. The bus tour featured stops at water-quality friendly agronomic practices, riparian restoration projects, and stormwater projects all around Franklin County. A lunch at the Abbey, generously donated by Northwest Regional Planning Commission, closed out the day. Legislators had fun and learned a ton about cost effective ways to remediate pollution in runoff.