"The People's Solution"
A Comprehensive Plan for the
Restoration of Lake Champlain
As we all know, the health of Lake Champlain's
waters has been compromised.
The most visible sign of this change in health and
composition lies in the overwhelming growth of
algae. This algeal growth inhibits the health of many
The biggest factor in the over abundance of algea
stems from the presence of elevated levels of both
phosphorus and nitrogen.
Largest Contributors of Phosphorus
Point Sources: Water Nonpoint Sources:
Treatment, Industrial Agriculture, Roadway Runoff,
Discharge Lawns, Developed Land
Where Do These Substances Come
At one point it was thought that point sources were the biggest
contributers to the elevated levels of these chemicals. Now
research suggests that, certainly in part to prior regulation,
point sources are not the largest contributor's. In fact, research
suggests that nearly 90% of the current phosphorus and
nitrogen introduction is a result of nonpoint sources. This poses
a new type of problem. Regulating industry is, in many ways,
far more feasible than regulating individual's. This is because
there are less of them, and they're already regulated on many
of their practices. The question now is, how do we get the
A Plan of Action
At this time the general public has very little knowledge about
their own contribution to this dire situation. It has long been
believed that Industry was to blame. A new brand of regulation
must be devised. As part of this regulation agenda much of the
focus should be toward incintives. This is a way to coax public
into action without wasting resources on enforcement. By
bringing not just the issue but the causes behind it into the
public eye we can create a broader support base for our
Implement education in local schools in attempt to create a
generation of environmental stewards.
Implement property tax incintives for using permeable
pavements, reducing errosion, and installing rain-water
management and preservation of natural areas.
Create new regulations for agricultural pursuits including
livestock yard runoff, sediment control
and fertilizer phosphorus levels.
Organize a public awareness group which can also raise
funds for incintive programs which would offer rebates on
the purchase of low or no phosphorus containing detergents
The residents surrounding Lake Champlain know its
beauty. They also understand that maintaining its
beauty comes with an economic reward. The worth
of their property and their quality of life hangs on
their willingness to preserve this area. All they need
is to know how best to serve their home.