Ecosystem Indicators Scorecard 2015
The 2015 Ecosystem Indicators Scorecard describes the health of Lake Champlain in each of its five major lake segments: Missisquoi Bay, Northeast Arm, Malletts Bay, Main Lake, and South Lake. These segments have been used by scientists since the 1970s to describe the major regions of the Lake. The surrounding watersheds of these segments have different physical characteristics and land use that influences the health of the segment.
For the 2015 report, the scorecard provides updated information on the nine original ecosystem indicators presented in the previous reports, reflecting the most current data available for each of these indicators. The indicators have been grouped to report on three overarching issues: phosphorus contamination, human health and toxins, and biodiversity. Three indicators have been developed for each issue; it is these nine indicators that are used to comprehensively characterize the state of Lake Champlain in this document. Each indicator is scored as good, fair, or poor for each major lake segment. A more detailed explanation of each indicator and the criteria used to determine the scores are presented in the relevant sections of this report. Please refer to the page numbers noted after each issue on the scorecard for more information. Trends for each of the indicators also are presented for individual lake segments. The trends are an assessment of whether each condition is improving, staying the same, or declining as of 2015. The trends are typically evaluated for the duration of the available data—more than 20 years in the case of water chemistry monitoring. The status of each indicator also is presented, based on an evaluation of recent data. Status information is related to specific criteria, or targets, that have been established by resource managers in the Basin.