The Vermont Lakes and Ponds Program is seeking volunteers to help monitor and collect information about lakes and ponds in the state. With over 800 lakes and ponds, volunteers are key to the success of the program’s lake monitoring efforts. Volunteers can be found statewide greeting lake visitors, inspecting boats, collecting water samples, tracking algal or cyanobacteria blooms, reporting aquatic invasive species, and more.
“State scientists use the information volunteers collect to understand the health of Vermont’s lakes and ponds,” said Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner John Beling. “Thanks to our dedicated and hardworking volunteers, we can better protect the many benefits of these special places.”
The Lakes and Pond Program hosts a few programs for volunteers to get involved with, including the lay monitoring program, where volunteers use boats to collect water samples every week in the summer. The Vermont invasive patrollers program is where volunteers learn how to identify aquatic invasive species, such as zebra mussels and water chestnut, and then choose a lake to monitor each year for aquatic invasive species. The public access greeter program is where volunteers help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species by offering to inspect boats and watercraft at no cost. The cyanobacteria monitoring program is where volunteers are trained to assess lake conditions and monitor for harmful algal or cyanobacteria blooms. Cyanobacteria also known as blue-green algae, are naturally found in fresh water in the U.S. and throughout Vermont.
Interested parties can contact Peter Isles or Mark Mitchell at 802-490-6126.