July is Lakes Appreciation Month!

Did you know that Governor Scott declared July 2018 to be Lakes Appreciation Month? In celebration, the Watershed Management Division invites all Vermonters to join us in continuing to explore the theme of “Healthy Watersheds, Healthy Lakes” celebrating what’s right with our lakes and their watersheds. Below we provide a preview of information we will share at the annual meeting of the Federation of Vermont Lakes and Ponds (FOVLAP) on July 23rd. For more information or to register for this event, visit

To protect lakes, we need to not only conserve and restore native shoreline vegetation (as supported by the 2014 Shoreland Protection Act and the Vermont Lake Wise Program) but also take action in lake watersheds. Ben Franklin’s adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” certainly applies to managing our lakes.

Fortunately, there are extensive resources available to guide communities planning lake watershed management. At the national level, the EPA maintains a rich library that supports “protecting aquatic systems through landscape approaches.” Several examples from Vermont are included among the successful projects cataloged there, including the Vermont Inland Lake Score Card.  At the state level, we have Watersheds United Vermont continuing to empower lake and watershed associations to manage watersheds well and the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Tactical Basin Planning process guiding regional efforts.

We also want to remind our partners that the EPA provides high quality watershed education materials through their Watershed Academy. If you’ve never visited this virtual training center, we urge you to do so. For a sample experience, try the module titled “Introduction to Watershed Ecology” that includes an overview of different lake types and the processes that form them. If you have some extra time and are looking for a credential to add to your resume, why not complete the fifteen modules required to earn EPA’s Watershed Management Training Certificate?

A woman and her daughter are seen enjoying a picnic in the shade in a grassy at the shore of Lake Carmi

Pippa Dorfman and her daughter Nilu Fourie enjoy a shoreside picnic at Lake Carmi State Park. Image by Perry Thomas.