Phosphorus Pollution – A High Stakes Watershed Issue

On June 4th, 2021, the Federation of Vermont Lakes and Ponds and the Vermont DEC held held our Annual Lake Seminar.

FOVLAP Lake Seminar

Since monitoring began in the 1970s, increasing phosphorus trends have been observed on many of Vermont’s lakes, including on lakes that are considered high quality waters. Elevated concentrations of phosphorus in a lake or pond can lead to decreases in water clarity, abundant aquatic plant growth, and even cyanobacteria blooms. Elevated phosphorus levels can impact recreational opportunities, property values, and the natural ecosystem. During the first half of this seminar, participants will learn about the sources of phosphorus pollution and the risks of inaction.

After lunch, the growing threat of large wakes produced by powerboats and the implications to Vermont’s lakes and ponds will be discussed. During the second half of the seminar, participants will learn what is being done to prevent phosphorus pollution to protect lakes and ponds. Participants will leave the seminar with ideas they can take to their local lake association or their own property to help mitigate phosphorus pollution.

Topics included:

  • A watershed perspective on phosphorus pollution in Vermont
  • The risks from phosphorus in our lakes
  • The role of legacy phosphorus in lakes
  • The Vermont Clean Water Initiative
  • Wake boat concerns
  • Phosphorus trends on inland lakes and how reclassification may help
  • Shorelands: Problems, Solutions and Social Norms

The full agenda can be viewed here.

The meeting was recorded and can be viewed here, and on YouTube.

2021 Lake Seminar: