The Champlain Lake on the US – Canada border will be evaluated by a Cross-Border Committee that will evaluate the health of the freshwater lake. To be helmed by Ryan Davies, the Director of the Clinton County Department of Health’s Environmental Health and Safety Division, the Committee will comprise a total of 13 members from either nation who will assess the status of the lake. The impact of nutrient loading from watersheds, the amount of pathogens, toxins and sediments that runoff into the lake will be assessed by this committee. The Committee is also mandated to assess the health of the northern extension of the Lake, the Missisquoi Bay.
Last October, the International Join Commission to the Champlain Study Advisory Group was tasked by the Governments of USA and Canada to assess existing programs and to chalk out measures that would tackle the high nutrient levels in the lakes. The runoff from watersheds resulted in this high nutrient leading to algal blooms in the lake. A group on the same lines has also been constituted to assess Lake Memphremagog in Quebec. The Champlain Study Advisory Group will oversee the work carried out by a technical workgroup that is looking into multiple components of the study.
In a press release, the commission announced that the workgroup, which included the Lake Champlain Basin Program and the Organisme de bassin versant de la baie Missisquoi, will submit its report to the International Joint Commission next year. The report submission will be preceded by technical workshop attended by stakeholders of both nations, following which a public consultation will ensue, that wil culminate in the submission of the report to the Commission.
The committees comprising members in a purely voluntary status include entities of various ministries, departments and distinguished agencies in addition to a university – the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, three Quebec Ministries, the Vermont University, three Vermont departments, the Regional Municipal Council Brome-Missisquoi; the Organisme de bassin versant de la baie Missisquoi; the Environmental Protection Agency and the Institut de Recherche et de Développement en Agroenvironnement.