To the Editor:
I am a 9th grader at Champlain Valley Union High School and I’m writing this letter to inform people of the health of Lake Champlain, and what people can do to in their own lives to help.
Algae blooms have been on the rise in Lake Champlain. They are caused by an abundance of nutrients in the water, like nitrogen and phosphorus. Most people (including myself) didn’t realize until recently how much our everyday activities can affect the lake. Things we don’t even think about like fertilizer, pesticides, grass clippings, manure, and other animal waste all have nutrients and will end up in the water if they aren’t taken up by plants or have a chance to get captured, and currently our capture systems aren’t enough.
It is important to be aware and help solve this issue. If we don’t keep our lake healthy many species that live in our lake will die, and we won’t be able to enjoy the lake for recreational activities.
Krista Hoffsis of the Lewis Creek Association works to protect the lake and its watershed. She said: “The best ways for everyday people to protect their Lake are to adopt habits to prevent excess nutrients from getting to the Lake. For example, pick up after your dog. Don’t mow your lawn below three inches, so it can help slow and absorb water and nutrients. Don’t use excess fertilizer. Treat the water coming off your gutters before it leaves your property by planting an area that can intercept the water.”
If there is one thing I would like you to remember from this letter is that your actions, big and small, have an impact on Lake Champlain.