The Friends of Northern Lake Champlain (FNLC) is recognized as a statewide leader that acts to clean the waters of northern Lake Champlain and its watershed by working collaboratively with private citizens, businesses, farmers, and government.
The mission of FNLC is to clean the waters of northern Lake Champlain and its watershed by working collaboratively with citizens, businesses, farmers and government in order to reduce land-use pollution. Our focus is on catalyzing the actions and accountability needed to reduce land-use pollution and securing the essential local, state, and federal funding necessary for successful implementation.
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We Accomplish our mission by:
FNLC partners with various organizations to share knowledge with community members and students on local water quality issues. The educational activities that FNLC is involved with include:
Lake Lessons - FNLC partnered with the St. Albans Museum in 2018 to create a workshop for school-age children on Lake Champlain’s cultural heritage and water quality issues.
Farm Meetings - Since 2012, biannual meetings are held to discuss the implementation of water and soil management practices in Franklin County.
Participation in the Regional Stormwater Education Program - RSEP is a collaboration focused on providing a variety of opportunities for the general public to become more informed on water quality and stormwater issues.
Wind, Waves, and Variables - Launched in 2021, FNLC partnered with Exordium, a nature and outdoor education organization, to design and teach a curriculum about the Lake Champlain Basin to students in Franklin and Grand Isle Counties.
Design and Implementation:
Over the years, FNLC has been involved in many different assessment and implementation projects in and around Franklin County. Most of these projects manage stormwater and runoff in order to reduce the amount of nutrients and sediments that flow into Lake Champlain through its tributaries.
We partner with municipalities, farmers, shoreline homeowners, and other community members to identify areas where runoff can be better managed to reduce nutrient loading. We then help implement stormwater best management practices that are appropriate for that location.
For example, in 2018, FNLC completed the installation of a two-tier ditch at a local farm to reduce flooding and phosphorus loading to the surrounding watershed. In 2020, FNLC completed a stormwater assessment for Deer Brooke Gully in Georgia, and began implementing a number of best management practices in the area to reduce erosion and phosphorus loading.
To learn more about FNLC implementation projects, visit our Projects page.
Monitoring local water is important to determine whether the conservation projects implemented are effective and where there are areas of concern for water quality. FNLC has been involved in different sampling programs including tile drain monitoring and river sampling.
Since 2010, FNLC has been taking bi-weely, seasonal water samples of the Rock River, located in the Missisquoi Basin, to measure total phosphorus, dissolved phosphorus, and total suspended solids.
In previous years, FNLC has also been involved in tile drain monitoring at sites around Franklin County. Many farms in Vermont use tile drainage, which are systems of pipes installed below ground to remove excess water from farmland soil. We have helped sample and test the phosphorus levels in the water that is discharged from the tile drain pipes.