Progress on Missisquoi Bay Cleanup
July 12, 2005
While lakeshore residents and beachgoers look ahead to the hot summer weather, Missisquoi Bay waters will likely be plagued with blue/green algae blooms that prohibit full enjoyment of this valuable recreational resource.
Some 25 area residents met in Enosburg on July 12th to begin working on correcting the algae problem thought to be caused by excess phosphorus in the water. As part of Vermont’s Clean and Clear Action Plan, watershed coordinator Barry Gruessner has called for citizen involvement in advising the State on how best to reduce phosphorus emissions from agricultural activity and other sources within the Missisquoi River basin.
While State and Federal efforts to address the problem are already in place with the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program which encourages farmers to allow the planting of vegetative buffer strips along rivers and streams by paying them a stipend for taking that land out of production, phosphorus levels in the Missisquoi River continue to exceed State and Federal clean water standards.
Participants in the Missisquoi Bay Watershed Council broke into four focus groups and began to identify strategies and specific projects to protect and restore water quality in Missisquoi Bay and its watershed. Topics such as the causes of phosphorus pollution, threats to human health, effects on fish and wildlife, and education and outreach strategies were discussed.
Participation in the Missisquoi Bay Watershed Council is open to everyone interested in water quality issues.