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LSCA Awarded Grant For Lake Wise Program Expansion In Little Lake, Partners With LSCCF

9 Dec 2020 6:00 PM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

We are excited to report that the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) has awarded the Lake St. Catherine Association (LSCA) a grant in the amount of $19,920 for the expansion of our Lake Wise Program into Little Lake!

The project is entitled: “Lake Wise Project Implementation on Little Lake in the Lake St. Catherine Watershed”, and will be implemented in partnership with the LSCA, the Lake St. Catherine Conservation Fund (LSCCF) and the Poultney Mettowee Natural Resource Conservation District (PMNRCD).

Lake Wise is a program 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.

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."

In 2020, the LSCA earned the same grant from LCBP to perform Lake Wise assessments, and to help property owners with projects on their land to mitigate stormwater runoff into the lake. Then, the LSCA partnered with PMNRCD on this project and began the outreach to the lake community. This effort, combined with the efforts in 2018 and 2019 resulted in 11 lake properties winning the Lake Wise Award in 2020.

The Liberatores, Oxbow Bay: One of 11 properties to earn a Lake Wise Award in 2020 on Lake St. Catherine
The Liberatores, Oxbow Bay: One of 11 properties to earn a Lake Wise Award in 2020 on LSC

Stormwater has a widespread environmental impact which makes it a growing concern in Vermont. In a statewide effort, towns and local organizations are working to implement large scale projects to help clean stormwater before it enters water bodies. Work is being done from the headwaters all the way down to the stream outlets. Excess nutrients in the water contribute to problems which affect both human and wildlife health including; lower oxygen levels in the water, toxic algae blooms, and excessive plant growth.

As a shoreline property owner, you have the access and the ability to control what is happening directly at the water's edge.

While small-scale improvements on individual properties may not seem like they have much impact, collectively the implementation of many small projects will have a positive benefit on the water quality in the lake and the surrounding watershed.

Actions now will promote a healthy lake environment that will continue to support swimming, fishing, boating, and wildlife viewing in the future.

This is such an important program for long term health of Lake St. Catherine, and we can all pitch in to make a difference.

If you are a Little Lake property owner who would like to be part of this program, please contact us at info@lakestcatherine.org so we can add you to our 2021 list. We’ll contact you in the spring to set up an appointment. We are also accepting requests for ANY property owners on LSC. If you’d like to be part of the Lake Wise program, we want to hear from you.

Next year, our overall goal is to earn 10 Lake Wise Awards for property owners, with at least one of those being the first for Little Lake.

- You can read more about the Lake Wise Program on Lake St. Catherine by clicking here.
- You can read about the 11 properties that earned the Lake Wise Award in 2020 by clicking here.

The LSCA is very happy to be working together with the LSCCF on this important project for Little Lake in 2021. This project represents just one of the two initiatives that the LSCA and the LSCCF will be working together on in 2021. Soon, we’ll have additional information to share on the second joint project, milfoil control in Little Lake.

So, send us an email at info@lakestcatherine.org and we’ll get you signed up for 2021. Thank you!

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Lake St. Catherine Association
PO Box 631
Wells, VT 05774

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