An upcoming workshop for marina owners and boaters will focus on keeping Lake Champlain clean and healthy for all residents and visitors.

The Lake Champlain Basin Program has teamed with the Vermont Boat and Marine Association to host the free workshop from 9 a.m. to noon Friday at Ice House Restaurant, 171 Battery St., on the Burlington waterfront.

The agenda will include an update on the state of the lake by Basin Program Executive Director William Howland and a review of regulatory programs relevant to marina operations by Judy Mirro, compliance specialist for the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.

"Marina owners collectively interact with thousands of boat owners each year," said Colleen Hickey, education and outreach coordinator for the Basin Program. "The more they know about Lake Champlain's health, the more they can share this knowledge with other lake users."

EXPERTS ON PANEL

Marina owners typically have to deal with more regulatory laws than boat owners, Hickey noted.

"They need to be concerned with oil, gas and other hazardous materials stored on-site. They also need to be aware of storm-water permits that may be required in certain instances, underground storage-tank laws and hazardous spill response requirements."

Presentations on spill prevention and gray-water discharge will also be topics of interest to individual boaters, she added.

A panel of experts will also discuss current perspectives on a variety of boating issues. Nicole Grohoski, technical associate with the Basin Program, joins Janes Ehlers of Lake Champlain International and Mike Winslow of the Lake Champlain Committee on the discussion panel.

"It is most important that, as stakeholders of the lake, boaters and marina operators stay informed about the health of Lake Champlain so we can continue to help preserve the lake for generations to come," said Mike O'Brien, president of the Vermont Boat and Marine Association.

The workshop is open to marina owners and boaters from New York and Vermont. To attend, call (802) 372-3213 to preregister so organizers can determine how much space will be needed for the workshop.

Email Jeff Meyers at: jmeyers@pressrepublican.com

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