Press Release

Welch, Sanders, Gillibrand: We have a responsibility to expand federal support for Lake Champlain

Apr 15, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Peter Welch (D-Vt.) today led U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in sending a letter to bipartisan leadership of the Senate Appropriations Committee urging Congress to provide robust federal funding for programs supporting the Lake Champlain basin. In their letter, the lawmakers emphasized the importance of federal programs to Lake Champlain that support critical work in the basin, from fostering a climate-resilient watershed to promoting outdoor recreation and wildlife conservation. 

“Lake Champlain provides significant environmental, recreational, historic, and educational value to our region. We have a responsibility to expand federal support for the Lake so our constituents can benefit from these opportunities for generations to come,” wrote the lawmakers

The Lake Champlain Basin Program was first introduced and long-championed by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) in 1990, in a landmark effort to protect the lake’s unique ecological, economic, and cultural significance. In 2022, the program was formally renamed the Patrick Leahy Lake Champlain Basin Program. 

The lawmakers requested financial support for the following programs: 

  1. Lake Champlain Basin Program  
  2. Heritage Partnership Program 
  3. Lake Champlain Sea Lamprey Control Program 
  4. Great Lakes Fishery Commission 
  5. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Aquatic Plant Control Laboratory 

Read the full text of the letter.