Good afternoon LSC.
We'd like to tell you about some grants we have submitted to bring funds to Lake St. Catherine for the 2022 season, and a few other that we will be applying for soon.
Today, we applied for 2 grants through the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) totaling over $74,000 in potential funding:
Clean Water and Healthy Ecosystems Projects
Small Implementation Grant: Lake Wise
In partnership with the Poultney Mettowee Natural Resource Conservation District (PMNRCD) and Castleton University (CU), the LSCA applied for funding to continue our very successful Lake Wise Program on Lake St. Catherine.
The Vermont DEC’s Lake Wise Program encourages landowners to voluntarily implement lake-friendly practices on their property.
The Lake Wise Program was developed by Vermont’s Lakes and Ponds Program to recognize outstanding efforts by homeowners who live along a lakeshore to protect the water quality and habitat along the shoreline and within the near-shore area of the lake. Four categories are assessed: The driveway and parking area, the structure (which includes roof, drainage, and septic), the recreation area (the lawn/footprint of non-natural, high-use yard areas), and the shoreline buffer area. All categories are scored on their ability to slow, infiltrate and filter stormwater runoff which carries nutrients like phosphorus & nitrogen, sediments, and pollution into the Lake.
The goal of the Lake Wise program, from the Lake Wise website:
"The goal of Lake Wise is to establish a new normal, a new culture of lakeshore landscaping that is proven to help protect the lake. A property that earns the Lake Wise Award will represent a 'model' shoreland property. The Lake Wise Award certifies a property is well managed, using shoreland Best Management Practices, and is maintained to care for the lake."
Lakeshore properties that exemplify thoughtful, ecologically-minded development are proudly awarded a Lake Wise Award. The Lake Wise Award certifies that a property is managed in a manner that preserves fish and wildlife habitat, protects water quality, and maintains a shoreline's natural stability.
Currently, 12 properties on LSC have earned the Lake Wise Award, with 1 award in 2019, and 11 in 2020.
24 new properties were assessed in 2021, and many stormwater infiltration projects were installed. The results of the assessments and the implementations are still being tabulated, but we are hopeful to be able to announce some awards soon!
The Lake Wise Program not only educates property owners around the lake about the issues stormwater can cause (carrying phosphorus, sediment, and pollutants into the lake), but it also implements stormwater infiltration projects on individual properties with native plantings, rain gardens, infiltration steps, etc.
This is a fantastic program that we hope to continue each season.
Clean Water and Healthy Ecosystems Projects
Planning Grant: LSC Stormwater Master Plan Project Design
In partnership with the Poultney Mettowee Natural Resource Conservation District (PMNRCD), the LSCA applied for funding for the planning, prioritization, outreach, design, and budgeting of projects identified in the Lake St. Catherine Stormwater Master Plan (SWMP).
In 2018 and 2019, extensive field work by the PMNRCD and Fitzgerald Environmental Associates (FEA) took place in the LSC watershed. The goal was to identify sources of increased stormwater runoff and associated sediments and nutrients. Phosphorus reducing projects are of particular importance given the water quality concerns within the watershed. The work involved identifying sources of stormwater, prioritizing sources based on various environmental, economic, and social criteria, and designing projects to mitigate those sources.
While the previously mentioned Lake Wise projects are focused on individual properties on the parcel level, SWMP projects can involve larger areas that may include a combination of public and private lands.
50 sites were identified, and as of today, 4 have been implemented, and 2 others have been designed and are awaiting installation. Projects have recently been completed on North Street, Ferncliff, the boat launch in Wells, and at the Wells Lakeside Park. That leaves 44 others that need to be designed. This grant will allow us to hire a consultant to design these projects to prepare them for funding and implementation.
In the coming months, we will be applying for multiple aquatic invasive species (AIS) grants through the LCBP and the Vermont DEC to help fund our Boat Launch Greeter and Milfoil Control Programs.
We'll keep working for LSC over the fall & winter, and we'll keep you up-to-date with all the latest news.
Thank you for your support!
We hope you find our efforts worthy and we can earn your support - are you a member for 2021? Maintaining the lake costs approximately $125,000 annually. Grants, membership dues and contributions make up the majority of our funding. If you'd like to help, please consider becoming a member or making a donation. The LSCA is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization and any contribution that you make may be tax deductible.