Governor Shumlin today signed a proclamation declaring July 2015 as “Lakes Appreciation Month.” The proclamation states that lakes and reservoirs are “critical to Vermont’s environment and quality of life, providing sources of recreation, scenic beauty, and habitat for wildlife” and that ”maintaining the health of our lakes, ponds, and reservoirs is the responsibility of every citizen.”
Governor Shumlin stated that, “by signing this proclamation, I seek to recognize the tremendous and critical efforts of the many Vermont citizens, community leaders, volunteers, lake and watershed organizations to protect and restore the quality of our state’s many lakes and ponds.”
In recent years, Vermont has established itself as a leader among states in the protection of water resources, passing the Shoreland Protection Act in 2014 and the landmark Vermont Clean Water Act, which addresses polluted stormwater runoff, in 2015. The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources and its three departments, Fish and Wildlife, Forest Parks and Recreation, and Environmental Conservation all contribute to protecting Vermonters’ ability to enjoy the state’s many lakes, reservoirs and ponds through education, outreach, oversight and maintaining access through boat launch areas and State Parks. Vermont’s citizens play a key role in supporting the Agency through monitoring water quality, preventing the spread of invasive species, and educating the public about the importance of taking care of our state’s waters.
Natural Resources Secretary Markowitz noted, “our state’s quality of life and our prosperity is tied to the natural beauty and health of our lakes which provide Vermonters opportunities to enjoy clean water for fishing, boating, swimming, wildlife viewing, and drinking so I am pleased that the Governor has signed this proclamation recognizing the importance of this vital resource.”
To celebrate Lakes Appreciation Month, the Watershed Management Division plans a series of posts in Flow recognizing efforts of Vermonters to monitor and restore the water quality of our lakes. If you have a project you would like to see highlighted in this series, please let us know by contacting Perry Thomas (firstname.lastname@example.org or 802.490.6198).