News Release — Vermont PBS
Oct. 11, 2017
Documentary Series Takes on Health of Lake Champlain Basin
Colchester, Vt. – October 11, 2017 – Saving Our Waters, a three-part documentary on the health and vibrancy of the Lake Champlain basin, premieres online and on Vermont PBS Thursday, October 19 at 8 pm. Featuring interviews with scientists, citizens, farmers, business owners, and dozens of other stakeholders, the series creates a comprehensive look at the health of the entire watershed of the lake, which encompasses approximately 40% of the state. The result is three thought-provoking short documentaries covering steps toward keeping our waterways clean; the impacts of phosphorus and other contaminants; and using the science behind the issues to derive solutions that have positive impact on our communities. Saving Our Waters aims to examine the state of the Lake Champlain Basin today with an eye toward practical solutions to keeping Vermont’s waterways clean in an age of extreme weather events.
“Let’s solve blue green algae! Public media has a vital role to play in helping our community recover the rich natural resource, economic vitality and recreational lifestyle that is tied to the quality of Vermont water, especially in Lake Champlain,” said Holly Groschner, President and CEO of Vermont PBS. “Saving Our Waters brings Vermonters the science behind our water pollution issues and supports conversation around ways we can all help achieve cleaner waterways.”
“We in Vermont EPSCoR are focused on understanding the basin’s watershed and what makes some parts rebound from extreme events while others do not. This resiliency is critical to foster throughout the basin in order to safeguard the Lake. We are delighted to partner with Vermont PBS in this effort to highlight the Lake and watershed, and our goal is to engage citizens and other stakeholders in helping us to model and predict the effects on the Lake of extreme events into the distant future, “ said Judith Van Houten, Ph.D., Vermont State EPSCoR Director and University of Vermont Distinguished Professor of Biology.
With these goals in mind, the series is complemented by multiple town hall meetings in some of the communities most affected by watershed issues. Vermont PBS will also air a panel discussion on the Lake Champlain basin that was pre-recorded in Montreal, one of many sources of water flowing into Lake Champlain and the pollutants associated with it.
In addition, anyone who wishes to add their voice to the conversation may do so by visiting http://resilientwaters.org/ – a website specifically designed by social science researchers, Asim Zia, Ph.D. and Christopher Koliba, Ph.D, professors in the Community Development & Applied Economics Department of UVM, and science leaders for VT EPSCoR, for this important topic.
Koliba explained that, “As the series will underscore, we all have a shared stake in ensuring that our lakes and streams are resilient to the changes we can expect from changing weather patterns and land uses. To this end, we have designed a website for the public to participate in the ‘crowd sourcing’ of solutions to the challenges we face in the coming years and decades. The site also has links to the papers, videos and talks VT EPSCoR researchers are making as the research progresses.”
An extensive educational outreach component designed for our K- 12 students will also be available from Vermont PBS in the coming months.
Saving Our Waters was made possible by major funding provided by Vermont EPSCoR. Additional funding was provided by Gardener’s Supply and Hickok & Boardman. The documentaries will premiere on Vermont PBS on three consecutive Thursdays:
Where Do We Stand?
Thursday, October 19, 8 pm
Lake Champlain: A Jewel in Trouble
Thursday, October 26, 8 pm
Our Actions Matter
Thursday, November 2, 8 pm
All three episodes will be available online concurrent with their air dates.
Vermont PBS will also convene town hall style conversations around Saving Our Waters. The public is welcome to attend these free events:
Wednesday, November 1, 6:30 pm
ECHO, Burlington, VT
To register: http://go.vermontpbs.org/WaterBurlington
Wednesday, November 8, 6:30 pm
Paramount Theater, Rutland, VT
To register: http://go.vermontpbs.org/WaterRutland
Wednesday, November 15, 6:30 pm
14th Star Brewery, St. Albans, VT
To register: http://go.vermontpbs.org/WaterStAlbans
A pre-recorded panel of Canadian experts talking about how Quebec is impacted by the watershed will also air Thursday, November 9th at 8 pm.