Some of the Science Behind Today’s Headlines

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

This afternoon, at Vermont’s Statehouse, H.526 (The establishment of lake shoreland protection standards) is being debated by our representatives (to read the bill, see http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2014/bills/Intro/H-526.pdf).

If you support H.526, please email your representatives to let them know.  Contact information can be found at:
http://www.leg.state.vt.us/legdir/legdirMain.cfm

H.526 arose from research findings described in the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources’ Act 138 Report.  An Executive Summary of the report can be found at:
http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/waterq/lakes/docs/lp_act138shorelandexsummary.pdf

Earlier his month, VT-ANR released an additional study that shows it is possible to develop lakeshore properties in ways that are lake friendly.  This study was a collaborative effort involving researchers from Vermont and Maine.  The results have been well received in both states. The full report is available at  http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/waterq/lakes/docs/lp_mainezoning.pdf (and Maine’s response is described at http://web.colby.edu/epscor/).

The picture above shows an example of a beach surrounded by buffer vegetation, similar to the shoreland areas studied in Maine.  This one is on the North Point of Lake Eden.  Note the green hue of the water–typical August conditions on a Vermont lake where there are no local restrictions regarding shoreline development.  Lake Eden’s water quality could improve if statewide standards required lake-friendly shoreline development, such as the practices required in Maine.