#3 – Our biggest swimming pool is dying…

The topic I’m exploring is the pollution of Lake Champlain. I haven’t heard much of it, but the people I’m interviewing might. I think these people will know a lot more than me, and I hope I can find some helpful answers.

I’m going to interview Peg Roseneau, who is the head of the Environmental Club at my school, and my friend Gavin Militello (who is also participating in What’s the Story). She is very familiar with environmental problems like pollution. I thought this would be a very good place to start.  I also wanted to interview someone who might’ve not known so much. I started with Ms. Roseneau. She had a lot of information about my topic.

I asked a basic question for this interview; “What do you know about pollution in Lake Champlain?” Her response was, “Even though Lake Champlain is a relatively healthy lake, pollution is an an increasing problem, especially in recent years.  One of the major concerns is excess nutrients like phosphorus that get into the lake and cause massive blue-green algae blooms in places like St. Albans Bay and Missisquoi bay.” I actually didn’t know that before. I’ve never heard of algae blooms in Vermont. She went on to say, “The excess nutrients are largely caused by storm water runoff from municipal areas, poor agricultural practices such as spreading manure at the wrong time of year, and commercial fertilizers used on lawns.” (Roseneau, Peg. “Pollution in Lake Champlain.” E-mail interview. 22 Sept. 2016.) This is a much bigger problem than I though. I’ve never looked into problems within our ecosystem before. Now I’m wondering what other issues are out there. 

That’s not all she said though. “Another big concern are viruses and bacteria that come from raw sewage.  This could be untreated waste, pet droppings, and farm animal manure. Since Lake Champlain is the source of drinking water for most people in our area, keeping pathogens out of the water is very important.” The fact that there are multiple things contributing to the pollution of the big body of water that everyone loves, is a little frightening. 

This is what I got from my second interview. I again, asked, “What do you know about pollution in Lake Champlain?” to start. His response was, “Having just moved here I don’t know a ton about Lake Champlain. But after doing a little research I can see the pollution is a serious problem. According to (https://www.mychamplain.net/threats-explained), the biggest polluters of Lake Champlain include: excess phosphorus, harmful bacteria, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, pesticides, coal-tar, lampreys, cormorants, dams and barriers, and invasive plant species.” (Militello, Gavin. “Pollution in Lake Champlain.” E-mail interview. 21 Sept. 2016.) That’s good that he said that. That means that this information is out there and anyone could find it if they looked. 

It looks like people do know about this. I have information from someone who knows what they are talking about, and a friend that found a website that backed Ms. Roseneau, and gave more information about this. Both of my interviews did line up, because both of my interviewees gave me enough information to tell that this is a problem. However, they did say different things, but it had the same result.

This is what people within my community know about pollution within our Lake Champlain. Thanks for reading! I hope you learned some things by reading this.

Hey! I'm an 8th grader from Vermont. I used to live in Georgia for 7 years. I enjoy swimming, biking, reading, acting, singing, making music, listening to music, archery, and much more! I've been described as organized, kind, respectful, funny, and easy to get a long with. Along with singing and acting, I also play the Baritone Saxophone in the school band. I am currently 13 years old, but I'm am close to 14. I have 5 brothers, 1 sister, 2 nephews, 2 nieces, and over 10 cousins. It's a pretty hectic family, and I'm the youngest out of most of them. And don't forget, read my blogs, and for now, thanks for reading this!

3 Responses to “#3 – Our biggest swimming pool is dying…

  • Hey Bryce, this is a really interesting topic you chose, and one that’s really important to the community. I thought it was really smart how you interviewed one person who had a lot of experience with the subject and one person who may have known less, because it gives readers information about the subject, but also perspective into how the general population perceives this issue. I also liked how you formatted this post as a story, so you wrote everything you did in order, and that’s a really clear method of organization. It also tracked the progression of your understanding, which contributes to the readers understanding. I think this is a great topic that you could really make a difference with, and get important information to Vermonters. You may have not gotten this far in your research, but I’d like to know if you have initial ideas about how you would deal with this issue. What would you do to begin changing this issue, or getting the information out to the community?

    • Hey Anna,
      Thanks for all of your comments and criticism. I actually realized I didn’t ask a question about how it would be fixed, after I did the interviews. I’m glad you could understand it, and get through it just fine. I look forward to reading your posts as well!

  • Bob Uhl
    6 years ago

    Good work, Bryce. I want to highlight one thing you wrote. You said, “I’ve never looked into problems within our ecosystem before. Now I’m wondering what other issues are out there.” This, I think, embodies the spirit of What’s the Story: investigation and discovery of the world around us. I’m glad this topic has piqued your curiosity, as it’s clearly an important one, as you indicate in your entry.

    I agree with Anna in that you’ve organized your entry effectively; it was informative and easy to read.

    I could be mistaken here, but I recall hearing that Lake Champlain was once polluted a great deal more than it currently is. Do you happen to know whether this is true? If it is, I wonder what caused that pollution in the past, and what was done to alleviate the problem. Would those methods be effective today?

    To add on to Anna’s question about what you might do to address this issue, perhaps it’s worth asking what has already been, and what is currently being, done, if anything. Have you looked to see if any local organizations are addressing the problem? They might serve as helpful resources should you decide to pursue this topic further.

    Well done!

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