The Greater Greensboro Watershed Committee and the Orleans County Natural Resources Conservation District would like to invite interested Caspian Lake shoreland owners to participate in the Vermont Lake Wise Program this summer! The Lake Wise Program is a Vermont Agency of Natural Resources initiative that awards lake-friendly shoreland properties, both public and private. The program offers free technical assistance to lake shoreland owners who would like to learn more about how to make their property as lake-friendly as possible.
According to the Department of Environmental Conservation Lake Score Card for Caspian, spring total phosphorus and summer total phosphorus trends are “significantly increasing” and “highly significantly increasing” respectively. Phosphorus pollution can result in algal blooms that are harmful to animals and people, and can decrease the economic, ecological, and recreational value of the lake. Caught early, intervention may stop or slow down this trend.
Lake shoreland owners have an important role to play in reducing shoreland erosion, improving lakeshore habitat, and keeping Caspian Lake clean. If you choose to participate, Lake Wise evaluators will spend up to an hour and a half assessing each property and providing technical advice in four categories – shorefront, recreation area, driveway, and structures and septic. If the property passes in all four categories, it will receive the Lake Wise Award sign. If the property does not pass, a detailed evaluation is provided to the landowner with recommendations on how to become Lake Wise certified in the future. Lake Wise is a voluntary program, and the recommendations are suggested, not mandated. Common recommendations include rain gardens, water bars, establishing no-mow zones, planting lakeshore vegetation, and establishing pathways.
If you are interested in a free assessment this summer, please contact Emily Finnegan at the Orleans County Natural Resources Conservation District – firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-624-7022. For more information about the Lake Wise program, please see the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation website – https://dec.vermont.gov/watershed/lakes-ponds/lakeshores-lake-wise.
An example evaluation form is also available here – https://dec.vermont.gov/sites/dec/files/wsm/lakes/Lakewise/docs/lp_evaluationforms.pdf.
Finally, the DEC Lake Scorecards can be found here – https://dec.vermont.gov/watershed/lakes-ponds/data-maps/scorecard.