News for the Shadow Lake Association

News, updates and recent issues that effect the Shadow Lake Association appear here. Unless otherwise noted, you must have Adobe Reader (available free of charge) installed on your system in order to read or print the documents that are mentioned in the news items below.

Did You Hear?

  • A Rare Occurrence Of Success! As Of The End Of September 2018, Shadow Lake Is Free Of Milfoil! The summer of 2018 was once again a very busy time for milfoil monitoring efforts at Shadow Lake. Between June and September 2018, a handful of committed volunteers contributed their time working with two divers to scour the lake shoreline and complete approximately 4 ½ full rotations in search of milfoil plants. By the end of September and 32 hours of diving, all previous milfoil sites were clear of milfoil and no new sites were found. In short, no milfoil was found anywhere in the lake!  The SLA Board sincerely appreciates all of the assistance from our Milfoil Committee; Ken Guilbault, Rick Utton, Kurt Muller and Christine Cano who together selflessly volunteered nearly 85 hours to this work. We depend on everyones awareness and participation continuing to work together as we implement our ongoing strategy to keep this lake free from aquatic invasive species. Read our page
  • Field Update: Loon Wins and Losses from the VT Center For Ecostudies September 2018 article by Eric Hanson, biologist for the Vermont Loon Recovery Project. This summary illustrates citizen science in action—people taking the time to report on or directly help save a loon in trouble, or help us figure out how they died.
  • New Invasive Species Confirmed In Lake Champlain 

    Download (PDF, 263KB)

  • On-Site Septic Drainfield Innovations Around Vermont’s Lakes and Ponds  For a tiny state, Vermont has a lot of lakes and ponds, over 800 total. In the 1950s and 60s, many seasonal cottages were constructed on very small lots to serve a limited occupation and use. Today, there is pressure to use these cottages more frequently as rentals or to convert them to year-round residences. Many of these properties were developed before environmental regulations were in place and when little was known about soils and wastewater treatment. Prior to purchasing a property on a lake or pond, know the septic limitations. The property may not be able to be converted into a full season home without a substantial investment.  If you are thinking of renting a lakeside property, consider the risks and costs associated with repairing a failed wastewater system. Read the Sept 19, 2018 article from The official blog of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s Watershed Management Division. Also see our Septic Primer page.
  • Lake Memphremagog Zebra mussels -August press release update: 

    Download (PDF, 68KB)

  • Roadside signs showcase Vermont farmers’ leadership on water quality. Read the News Release — Franklin County Conservation District
    August 15, 2018
  • Zebra mussels recently confirmed in Lake Memphremagog! 

Satellite image from the MCI July 2018 report mapping stations of  Zebra mussel sites in the northern section of Lake Memphremagog.

Read the joint press release: 

Download (PDF, 500KB)

  • New! A Guide For New Lakeshore Property Owners. This property owner’s guide introduces a new or potential landowner to what a healthy lakeshore looks like and describes how Vermont manages its public waters as a natural resource. ‘Sharing the Edge’ provides a brief overview of development regulations, including the Shoreland Protection Act and Lake Encroachment. 

    Download (PDF, 2.28MB)

  • How Can We Protect Lakes From Road Erosion? Act 64 mandates all hydrologically connected roads (class one through four) be maintained according to new road drainage standards. The new Municipal Roads General Permit (MRGP) is intended to achieve significant reductions in stormwater-related erosion from municipal roads, both paved and unpaved. Municipalities will implement a customized, multi-year plan to stabilize their road drainage system along the shoreland. The plan will include bringing road drainage systems up to basic maintenance standards with additional corrective measure to reduce erosion, manage sediment and nutrient pollution from roads as necessary to meet a TMDL or other water quality restoration effort to help to protect lakes. The MRGP is only for municipal roads rights-of-way and does not include private roads or driveways. However, there are practices that landowners should follow on their own private roadways to prevent sediment and nutrient runoff to the lake. The SLA Watershed Committee is working to inventory several road erosion sites around the lake for repairs while adapting MRGP tools to identify and fix eroding sections of private roads. We all must work together to protect Shadow Lake! 

    Download (PDF, 1.44MB)

     More information at the VT DEC MRGP website. 
  • Shoring Up! Stabilizing Your Lake Shoreline. Learn about the preferred approach to stabilization projects that mimic the properties of a natural lake shoreline to achieve long-term shoreline stability.  
    • Also check out our Shoreline Protection webpage:  Do I need a permit for my shoreline stabilization project? 
    • Scientists Explore Deterioration Of Cleanest Lakes In Vermont.  As the debate goes on over what to do about the state’s water quality crisis, scientists and others whose job it is to study the lakes themselves are reporting some curious findings: the water quality in Vermont’s most polluted lakes is actually improving, a little, but the quality of its cleanest lakes is deteriorating, and they’re not entirely sure why. Long-term water quality monitoring indicates that our restoration efforts targeting eutrophic (high nutrient) lakes are working well; however Vermont’s oligotrophic (low-nutrient) lakes (Shadow Lake) show declining water quality trends. Because these lakes are still considered healthy, restoration efforts have not been focused in their direction. Oligotrophic lakes are ecologically and economically important to Vermont’s landscape. Healthy lakes need enhanced protection to preserve their existing water quality and to prevent further decline. 
      Read the June 17th news article
    • The Federation Of Vermont Lakes And Ponds Asks Vermonters To Obey Tougher Law To Prevent Spread Of Invasive Species. Act 67 strengthens long-standing legislation prohibiting the transport of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)‘No matter how small, every invasive and nuisance plant and animal has the potential to root, multiply, and wreak havoc. Now transporting an aquatic plant, or part of any plant, failure to have a vessel inspected and decontaminated, or failure to drain a vessel could be subject to fines and fees of up to $1,197. Law enforcement officers can issue Judicial Bureau civil violation complaints, or tickets, for transport law violations. The waiver penalty, or ticketable fine, is set at $392. Under Vermont’s Noxious Weed Quarantine #3, continuing violations could lead to penalties up to $25,000.’  Read the April 20 VTdigger news article
    • Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce has been a leader in making the economic case for clean water funding. On March 23 The Treasurer provided testimony before the House Committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources regarding the Act 64 Report that identified a long-term funding need of $2.3 billion to fund water quality improvements. Her testimony included: ‘Water quality is also beginning to have a demonstrable impact on lakeside home prices. In 2015, the grand list in Georgia dropped by $1.8 million due to reassessments of 37 lakeside properties with declining water quality. In addition, the UVM Study projected that a one-meter increase in water clarity would result in a 37 percent increase in seasonal home prices.’  Read her compelling testimony 
    • ‘Vermont Needs To Make ‘Tough Decisions’ On Cow Herds’. Vermont farmers have for nearly a century imported far more phosphorus than they require to grow their crops and feed their cattle. Much of that phosphorus finds its way to Vermont’s public bodies of water, where phosphorus pollution in recent years has nourished toxic blooms of cyanobacteria, an organism sometimes referred to as blue-green algae that has discolored some of the state’s biggest lakes. Read the April 3 news article
    • The VT. Dept. of Environmental Conservation has published a new Aquatic Nuisance Guide – a resource guide for VT lake managers  see the 10 page guide
    • Common Loons Are Continuing Their Astonishing Recovery- In one of Vermont’s most striking conservation success stories of all time! The statewide Loon population grew from 7 adults more than thirty years ago to 106 adults on the annual July Loonwatch Day in 1998, to 308 in 2017, and the numbers of nesting pairs jumped from 25 in 1998 to a new record of 97 pairs last year, nearly reaching the vaunted century mark few could of dreamed of 40 years ago. see Vermont Center For Ecostudies Vermont Conservation Status: The Common Loon was removed from “endangered” in 2005.
    • $446,689 available for Aquatic Nuisance Control Grant-in-Aid projects to be implemented in 2018. These funds, derived from State motorboat registration funds and supplemented by federal dollars, will contribute to the 47 successful applications summarized in this downloadable list:

      Download (PDF, 63KB)

    • On Feb. 22, Rep. David Deen, Chair of House Committee on Natural Resources, Fish & Wildlife, introduced The Shadow Lake Association on the statehouse floor as one of several watershed groups visiting in support of the VT Clean Water Day.  Water quality groups and individuals joined at the statehouse in the day of citizen activism to tell Vermont lawmakers it’s time to invest in clean water. The event was co-sponsored by the Lake Champlain Committee and the Connecticut River Conservancy, Conservation Law Foundation, Lake Champlain International, The Nature Conservancy of VT, Sierra Club VT, Vermont Clean Water Network, Vermont Conservation Voters, Vermont Natural Resources Council, and Watersheds United Vermont. 
    • January 2018, The VT Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently launched the Environmental Notice Bulletin (ENB). Now, for the first time ever, there is an online hub that gives anyone the ability to easily track permit applications and add public comments. ENB was created to increase public engagement and provide a more predictable, consistent system for applicants. ENB merges 85 different permit procedures into five core categories and consolidates all permit information into one place on the ENB website with a substantial mix of permit applications in the system of interest to our lake community including; aquatic invasive species control; watershed, wetland and lakeshore protections; municipal roads; and stormwater management. Read the news article. Start using the new Environmental Notice Bulletin today at enb.vermont.gov
    • Water Quality Educational Videos! Watch the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s ‘Lake Wise’ program’s video on YouTube: ‘Restoring Shorelands through Bioengineering while improving water quality’ (2:54) and also watch the Clean Water Initiative video on YouTube (3:52): ‘Slow it, Spread it, Sink it: Reducing Stormwater Erosion on Private Roads’
    • State Announces Lake Memphremagog Tactical Basin Restoration Plan (Shadow Lake is part of this basin) Read the Nov. 2017 VTDEC blog article and read Nov 2017 news article ‘EPA: Time to reduce phosphorous in Lake Memphremagog’
    • Rain Garden installations at the town of Glover’s public beach. Late July 2017, the Shadow Lake Association partnered with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s ‘Lake Wise’ program; NorthWoods Stewardship Center; and the town of Glover to install 3 rain gardens at the public beach at Shadow Lake.  A year of coordination and planning preceded this rain garden project that serves as a shoreland best management practice helping to restore areas of the Town beach and protect the shoreline and water quality of Shadow Lake! The rain gardens keep the beach stable by controlling the volume and rush of runoff to reduce soil and sand erosion from entering and negatively impacting the lake. The gardens are specifically designed with a variety of water-loving, deep-rooted native plants suited to best collect and absorb the stormwater runoff from the roadway. The runoff is captured and contained in the garden allowing the plantings to soak up the water, sediments and pollutants it carries to then slowly and naturally filter into the ground. The gardens also add beauty and create a natural habitat for wildlife by providing food for birds, butterflies and other important pollinators. Check out this fact sheet and the VT Rain Garden Manual
    • Act 67 became Vermont law on June 08 2017 adding important amendments to strengthen Aquatic Invasive Species law. Read the AIS transport law update summarizing the new mandatory watercraft inspection. Read the legislative final version of S.75, now referred to as Act 67 or Read the legislative Act 67 summary.
    • The New Vermont Inland Lake Score Card is Online, a user-friendly interface developed by the Vermont Lakes and Ponds Management and Protection Program to share available data on overall lake health with lake users.  Using Google Earth, viewers can select from more than 800 lakes in the state and learn about four key aspects of lake health; nutrients; aquatic invasive species; shoreland and lake habitat; and mercury pollution.  Links embedded in the Score Card open deeper views into the underlying data and point to steps Vermonters can take to protect their lakes. Check out Shadow on the score card and review how your lake measures up to The Checklist of Lake Protection Actions.For more information watch the webinar (25:25 minute) video ‘Introducing the Vermont Score Card’ available on YouTube 
    • The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Atlas is an online mapping tool for Vermont’s Natural Resources. With over 150 map layers available to make your custom map from across all of departments and other State and municipal agencies, you can use the Atlas to create a robust map for any purpose. The webpage also provides a FAQ link and a link to a webinar video on Youtube to learn how to use the mapping tool. 
    • Shadow Lake Boat Wash Leads the Way!  As Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources finally steps up to provide 4 new mobile watercraft AIS decontamination  stations utilizing 140° water and pressurized spray to begin operation at Lake Champlain. Two other VT lakes are now up and running these very decontamination units. 

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    This photo was taken in Glover, at the 2015 VTDEC and SLA hosted Greeter Training Workshop featuring the demonstration of a mobile unit for boat wash decontamination This unit was purchased by the State for about $3,500.00 and runs on diesel to heat water to 140° in a about one minute!  Read the VTDEC Flow blog article

    Check out our Boat Wash page!

    • Vermont’s Public Access Greeter Program had a record-breaking year in 2015 while working to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Greeter’s educate lake visitors about invasive species and provide courtesy watercraft inspections for AIS.This past year, greeter’s conversed with boaters and inspected watercraft at 27 lakes in Vermont. They inspected over 21,000 watercraft, shattering the previous record of 18,407 set in 2012.  According to the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation Lakes and Ponds program, of the 27 State locations in 2015 where greeters inspected boats, Shadow Lake in Glover, was the only VT lake where greeters were actually washing boats in 2016!  Of all the 2015 watercraft inspected, 659 were found to have either plant or animal material in/on the vessel, and Eurasian Watermilfoil was the culprit species in the majority of those instances. To read more about this announcement click here. See more information on the Shadow Lake Boat Wash and read more information on the Shadow Lake Milfoil Committee and ‘What We Do’.
    • What does the New Vermont Clean Water Act mean for VT lakes?  Many of the Act’s provisions are as relevant to Vermont’s inland lakes as they are to Lake Champlain. The forthcoming rules that require management of sediment and nutrient pollution from roads, developed land, agriculture, stream channels, and forestry activities will have important positive benefits for all lake watersheds.  See: Vermont Watershed Blog
    • Shadow Lake Recognized for it’s Successful Milfoil Control;  read the Vermont Watershed Blog about the action of the Shadow Lake Association in partnership with the town of Glover to successfully control and prevent the spread of Milfoil in Shadow Lake. Go to our Milfoil Committee page to learn ‘what we do’
    • Vermont Shoreline Protection Act;  Effective July 1, 2014, the Vermont Shoreline Protection Act applies to all lakes greater than 10 acres in size. To read or download what this act regulates, see the The Vermont Shoreline Protection Act. For more information on State of Vermont Laws that effect the shoreline or water quality, please go to our  Links page
    • Thinking of Upgrading your Outboard Motor?
      Consider the benefits of upgrading your outboard engine to 4 stroke technology. 2 stroke outboard engines emit 20-30% of the fuel-oil mixture unburned into the Lake! 4 stroke outboard engines are fuel efficient. Compared with 2 stroke motors, 4 stroke engines use half the gas and have 90% fewer emissions. Furthermore, 4 cycle engines have less gas fumes and are much quieter. Upgrading to a 4 stroke outboard engine will help to prevent lake and noise pollution ~ a benefit to all.

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