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St. Albans students get lesson in water quality challenges facing Lake Champlain

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 5:09 PM

An article from WCAX we wanted to share! Check it out by reading below, to watch the video click the button below,

ST. ALBANS, Vt. (WCAX) - Cleaning up and protecting Lake Champlain is an ongoing mission for state and nonprofit groups, and now they are hoping some fourth graders can help in that fight.

Fourth graders from St. Albans City School and Fairfield Center School Friday got a hands-on lesson on protecting Lake Champlain.

It took place at nearby St. Albans Bay, where an active cyanobacteria bloom clearly illustrated the ongoing water quality problems that plague the lake.

“If we don’t protect the lake, the lake will get very dirty and it won’t be safe to swim in anymore because there’ll be too much algae, and the lake is very important to a lot of people,” said Reid Koldys, a student at St. Albans City School.

Many different watershed organizations gathered to teach the students about the history of the lake starting with the Abenaki. They discussed runoff on different soils and how different tactics like rain gardens can help mitigate impacts to the lake.

“It’s really important to get the children started with an ethic for responsible use of their resources that will translate into a better environment for them for their entire life,” said Kent Henderson with Friends of Northern Lake Champlain.

And students like Aubree Bohannon agree. “The lake could already be really bad before we’re older so we want to prevent it now so it doesn’t get worse.,” she said. “The lake is being polluted by plastic. So. I’m going to plant a rain garden in my backyard.”

“Don’t throw anything in the lake that’s not supposed to be there,” suggested Adelise Consentino, a student at Fairfield Center School.

“Pick up stuff in our yard stuff that shouldn’t be there like plastic, or if your dog gets in the trash, pick it up and pick up after your dog,” added Kamden Muir.

Experts say it could still be years before we know the true impact on Lake Champlain of the extreme rainfall and flooding events this summer.

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