A Potent Combination

Laurie O'Reilly | @LaurieOReilly Conservation Matters Spring 2014

What’s at Stake

In late 2013, an EPA report found that, over the next 30 years, climate change could increase phosphorus levels in Lake Champlain by an average of 30%, with some models showing a 46% spike. Sobering news for a lake already crippled in many areas by nutrient pollution. But even that dire prediction is optimistic, because EPA looked only at climate change’s impacts – warming waters, increased precipitation, and more severe storm events – if the amount of pollutants in the lake holds the line. And right now, we’re not holding the line.

The report’s implications for nutrient-impaired waters across the country are significant – more pollution, and its devastating by-products, like toxic blue-green algae blooms, will only stress our waters more.

Next Steps

CLF has sued EPA to force consideration of climate impacts in pollution-control plans for Lake Champlain and Cape Cod. As we monitor the agency’s consideration of climate in its programs, we are also leading the push for a national policy to address this growing threat.

Focus Areas

Clean Water

Places

Vermont