Dams in the Champlain Valley Speaker Series

A free online lecture series exploring the impact of dams on the Lake Champlain watershed for high school students and residents of the Champlain Valley.

There are hundreds of dams around Lake Champlain, ranging from small dams from the early 1800s to the large modern hydro-electric dams. These human-made structures were the earliest way to supply power to Champlain Valley industry, and dams can still serve important purposes today. Yet the introduction of dams into our ecosystem has had immense and unintended consequences. The story of dams in the Champlain Valley is one of individual ownership, collective good, environmental impact, habitat connectivity, and more.

During the Spring of 2021, we hosted four online presentations with watershed experts to explore the multi-faceted impact of dams in the Champlain Valley. All sessions were free to attend. Scroll down for links to the recordings of each presentation and check out our curriculum guides for this series below.

Schedule & Registration

Roy Schiff: Removing Obsolete Dams in the Champlain Valley

Thursday, March 25 • 4 PM–5 PM WATCH RECORDING

Roy Schiff, principal water resource engineer and scientist with SLR, leads us on an exploration of case studies of past uses of dams and ways to remove failing structures. (Image credit: Keene Valley, old mill on the Ausable, Adirondack Mts., N.Y. Image retrieved from the Library of Congress.)

Karina Dailey: A Collaborative Approach to Reconnecting Rivers and Restoring Ecosystems 

Thursday, April 8 • 4 PM–5 PM WATCH RECORDING

Karina Dailey, restoration ecologist with Vermont Natural Resources Council, talks us through ways to restore ecosystems and the relationships between rivers, dams, and other bodies of water. (Image credit: Upper Falls, Milton, VT. Image courtesy of UVM Landscape Change Project.)

Jacob Fetterman: Dams, Recreation, and Citizen Science

Thursday, April 22 • 4 PM–5 PM WATCH RECORDING

Jacob Fetterman, project coordinator with Battenkill Home Rivers Initiative, joins us to explore recreational connection to dams and river obstruction and to talk about Trout Unlimited’s digital mapping citizen science effort and why it’s important. (Image credit: Outlet of Highland Forge Lake in Willsboro. Image courtesy of Elizabeth Lee.)

Julie Butler: Free Range Rivers for Aquatic Wildlife

Thursday, May 6 • 4 PM–5 PM WATCH RECORDING

Julie Butler, fish biologist with the Fisheries and Aquatic Conservation branch of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, explores why aquatic organisms (fish, plankton, otters, and more) need the full range of river habitats and how we enable them to have full access to those habitats. (Image: Driving salmon upstream, courtesy of Bridget Macdonald)

Curriculum Guides

Special Thanks

This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement (LC00A00605) to NEIWPCC in partnership with the Lake Champlain Basin Program.