In October I will be exhibiting about 20 images from my Lake Champlain project at the All Souls Interfaith Gathering Space, Shelburne, Vermont, in conjunction with an important forum of stakeholders to improve the water quality of Lake Champlain.
I love Lake Champlain and generally, my images depict it as pristine landscape. Yet, it's a real challenge to maintain a high water quality with 18 square miles of water shed and run-off for every square mile of the lake; this is about six times greater than the great lakes.
Every time we get a heavy rain I cringe, knowing the beaches will close due to unhealthy coliform counts, at least for a short while. Can you imagine being permanently restricted from taking a dip in this precious Lake on a hot summer's day? Waste water treatment has kept the phosphorous down for now, but with new land development, population growth and desire to improve crop yields, current efforts to protect water quality result in a constant battle just to meet the status quo, not to mention make improvements.
If a priority is high enough it will get done! That's my belief. One way, sooner or later priorities call our attention either by value or consequence. If improving Lake Champlain's water quality is made a high enough priority it will be done. Isn't it our responsibility to leave our environment as unspoiled as we found it? Indeed, in a better condition than we found it. With everything there needs to be a balance, but spend any time experiencing the natural beauty of Lake Champlain and tell me the weight doesn't fall heavy to the side that it is our responsibility, our opportunity, to preserve this God-given environment that holds the pride of Vermont.