Picture of Lake Champlain nutrient loading near Burlington, Vermont

Public Consultation on the Draft Study Report: Nutrient Loading and Impacts in Lake Champlain, Missisquoi Bay, and the Richelieu River

The Champlain Study Advisory Group (CSAG) tasked with the study of nutrient loading and impacts in Lake Champlain, Missisquoi Bay and the Richelieu River is seeking public comment on their draft study report

The public comment period on the draft study report ended on Saturday, December 14, 2019. Thank you for your comments. 


Log in or register to post comments
Jade Dormoy-Boulanger
Date Posted
Tue, 11/19/2019 - 09:47


Je m'appelle Jade et je suis à la maîtrise en biologie à l'UQAM. Mes recherches sont portées sur l'impact des changements climatiques sur la dynamique des cyanobactéries dans la Rivière-aux-Brochets et fait parti d'un grand projet en collaboration avec le consortium OURANOS sur les changements climatiques. J'ai donc fait beaucoup de terrain sur la rivière (dans la réserve écologique à son embouchure avec la Baie Missisquoi) durant l'été 2019. De plus je connais bien les lois et politiques sur la gestion des bandes riveraines, ayant travaillé pour un organisme de bassin versant au QC. C'est donc avec ses connaissances que je permettrais les commentaires suivants:

Il devrait y avoir un petit budget alloué à plus d’inspecteurs du MAPAQ afin d’aller donner des amendes aux contrevenants qui déversent leurs fosses à purin et autres matières fécales directement dans les cours d’eau du bassin versant de la Baie, en vertu du Règlement sur les exploitations agricoles (chapitre Q-2, r.26). Aussi, en vertu de ce règlement, je demanderais aux inspecteurs d’aller faire respecter soit le règlement municipal quant à la bande riveraine obligatoire, ou sinon en son absence, faire respecter le règlement de la bande riveraine de 3m de tout cours d’eau/milieu humide et de 1m des fossés agricoles.

De plus, pour les municipalité du bassin versant de la Baie Missisquoi qui n’ont pas de règlement sur la bande riveraine, j’en instaurerais un, basé sur la Politique des rives, du littoral et des plaines inondables, produite par le MELCC et révisée en 2015.

Je crois que du côté QC, ce serait déjà un grand pas dans la bonne direction, en plus des autres efforts déjà mis en œuvre et qui donnent de bons résultats.

Merci de votre attention,


ken sturm
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Date Posted
Fri, 11/22/2019 - 14:25

Thank you for your work and the development of actionable recommendations for reducing phosphorus inputs into Lake Champlain and particularly the Missisquoi Bay. As the manager of the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) I find water quality issues to be one of my top concerns for the future biological integrity of this National Wildlife Refuge. Missisquoi NWR was designated a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance in 2013, the 36th such site in the United States. This designation is well deserved as this refuge protects the largest and likely most biologically significant wetland complex in the Lake Champlain Basin. Hosting tens of thousands of waterfowl and thousands of other water birds the refuge hosts the largest concentration of these species during fall migration in the Champlain Valley. Couple that with the many state threatened and endangered birds, fish and freshwater mussels, this sanctuary is of extreme importance for a variety of federal and state trust wildlife species.
And yet as the manager of this amazing area, I am unable to truly ensure its future protection against the persistent eutrophication emanating from upstream sources.
There are areas in the country that have suffered extreme wildlife impacts because of cyanobacteria blooms. These blooms have been known to aid cycles of avian (type C) botulism in western lakes such as the Salton Sea resulting in large-scale water bird mortality events. There is speculation that ingestion of toxins produced by cyanobacteria are responsible for bird mortality events as well, such as the mass die-off of eared grebes at the Salton Sea in the early 1990’s. Given the current trajectory of warming waters, extended summer weather and longer cyanobacteria blooms, it is possible that this will coincide with the fall migration of thousands of waterfowl at Missisquoi NWR. My fear is that some day in the future this will begin a cycle of avian botulism impacting thousands of waterfowl and shorebirds that the Missisquoi NWR was established to protect.
Of course, there are direct wildlife impacts to cyanobacteria bloom cycles occurring right now in Missisquoi Bay. Since I have been the manager of this refuge, I have witnessed two different die-offs of native mussels and one smaller fish kill in Missisquoi Bay. While not on refuge property, it is obviously troubling. The large-scale degradation of blooms creating anoxic conditions can kill thousands of native fresh water mussels, some of which are state endangered or threatened.
My intent on writing these comments was to bring forward my concerns as a wildlife manager for the future of Missisquoi Bay and the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge. While we currently see direct impacts on recreation and tourism, I fear that we may realize impacts to wildlife from these events in the future. I would like to recognize the threat to wildlife on this National Wildlife Refuge and the Missisquoi Bay from eutrophication cycles. I fully support your work to find ways to reduce phosphorus in the Missisquoi River and the Missisquoi Bay, for the benefit of wildlife as well as for tourism and public water-based activities.

Lauren Sopher
Lake Champlain Committee
Date Posted
Sat, 12/14/2019 - 21:25

Dear CSAG Members,

The Lake Champlain Committee (LCC) submits the following public comments (attached PDF) in regard to the Draft Study Report on Nutrient Loading and Impacts in Lake Champlain, Missisquoi Bay, and the Richelieu River. Thank you for your consideration of our comments. We welcome the opportunity to further discuss them with you.

We also submitted our comments via the provided email (lclm@ottawa.ijc.org).

Lauren Sopher