In 2008, the International Joint Commission asked scientists from the governments of the two countries as well as Vermont and the Province of Quebec to produce the Missisquoi Bay Critical Source Area Study.
Missisquoi Bay is the northernmost section of Lake Champlain, and straddles the US-Canadian border. According to the report, between 1979 and 2009 total phosphorus concentrations in the bay increased 79-percent, and currently has some of the highest concentrations of phosphorous anywhere in Lake Champlain. Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Scientist Eric Smeltzer is a member of the International Missisquoi Bay Study Board. He says many of their recommendations pertain to how the study can be put into practice.
Friends of Northern Lake Champlain Executive Director Paul Madden says farmers have had a good idea of where the sources of phosphorus are, but now, with the report, can pinpoint them.
Lake Champlain Lakekeeper Louis Porter says the report is a strong affirmation of the seriousness of the problems facing Lake Champlain in general, and Missisquoi Bay in particular.
The first hearing is set for May 1st in St. Armand, Quebec. A second hearing is scheduled on May 2nd in Swanton, VT.