Essex County, NY – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) toured the site of the former Willsboro Dam with representatives from the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The LCBP provides funding that benefits Lake Champlain’s water quality, fisheries, wetlands, wildlife, recreation, and cultural resources. In 2015, with technical assistance and funding secured by the LCBP and USFWS, the Willsboro Dam was removed to eliminate hazards, mitigate flood risks, and protect fragile biodiversity. As Co-Chair of the Congressional Invasive Species Caucus, Congresswoman Stefanik crossed party lines to save the LCBP budget from elimination, and led the fight to almost double LCBP funding in the recent House-passed appropriations bill.
“The Lake Champlain Basin Program is essential to protecting this North Country treasure from invasive species, protecting its biodiversity, and strengthening the local economy,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “With the assistance of the LCBP and USFWS, the Willsboro Dam was removed in 2015 – effectively reopening over 100 miles of the Boquet River Watershed to the Atlantic salmon and improved the river’s water quality and natural flood resilience. As Co-Chair of the Congressional Invasive Species Caucus, I was pleased to work on an amendment to ensure this program received the funding necessary to protect Lake Champlain. I am grateful to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for their commitment to protecting our ecosystem and for allowing me to witness their important work first-hand. I’ll keep working in Congress to ensure our North Country environment is protected for generations to come.”