Our History

For the past 19 years, the Friends of Northern Lake Champlain (FNLC) has focused 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. There can be no improvement in Lake Champlain water quality without the on-the-ground projects that improve the waters flowing into the Lake. In the beginning, several Highgate Springs and Swanton residents started the Friends of Missisquoi Bay, a non-profit organization focused on the removal of causeways that were obstructing the natural flow between Missisquoi Bay and the Inland Sea. 

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After six years, the scope of activity shifted to focus more heavily on stormwater education, as well as planning, designing, and implementing projects. Most of these projects were on-the-ground solutions for farmlands and municipalities to help stop nonpoint source pollution, which cause blue-green algal blooms in the Lake. At that time, the name of the organization was changed to the Friends of Northern Lake Champlain, to recognize the expanded geographical reach of our work. Our work has enabled us to partner with Quebec, New York, Federal, State, and regional agencies, as well as schools and universities, other local watershed groups, farmers, residential landowners, and municipalities to identify ways that we can better manage our land and water resources.