NEWPORT — Local conservation group Don’t Undermine Memphremagog’s Purity (DUMP) recently submitted a petition to the Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, requesting Lake Memphremagog be designated a Lake in Crisis.
The group says this designation will provide resources to help identify the causes of environmental contamination, and develop a comprehensive response plan with public input to mitigate problems and restore the water quality of the lake.
The group’s concern over the lake is based on immediate threats to the public and environmental health, including cancerous lesions in Brown Bullhead fish in the South Bay and Hospital Cove, recurring toxic cyanobacteria blooms, and recent findings of measurable PFAS levels in lake waters in Magog and Sherbrooke, Quebec.
“Lake Memphremagog deserves this designation so as to turn her environmental crisis around,” DUMP wrote in their letter to Secretary Moore. “A bright future for Lake Memphremagog signifies a bright future for the people and wildlife who depend upon her purity.”
In early March, the group launched an e-petition drive on change.org, requesting that Secretary Moore of the ANR designate Lake Memphremagog a Lake in Crisis.
To date, the petition received 3,800 signatures.
The group says that the lake requires immediate expansion of research, including a sampling of water, sediment, and fish tissues, in order to determine what is causing the fish cancers.
They also want to know the extent of the environmental contamination beyond what is currently known.
“Once these questions are answered, a mitigation plan can be designed that will more swiftly restore the water quality in Lake Memphremagog and protect it from future degradation,” DUMP said in a statement.Are you on Instagram? Cool. So are we. CLICK HERE to follow us for a behind the scenes look at Newport Dispatch.