Watershed Moments - Newsletter Article


Saving Our Waters wins 2018 Emmy Award

Shown left to right:  Drs. Arne Bomblies, Donna Rizzo, Andrew Schroth, Carol Adair, Christopher Koliba and Patrick Clemins

Saving Our Waters, a three-part documentary produced by VT PBS with major funding by VT EPSCoR, was recognized with a Boston/Regional Emmy Award in the Environmental category, on June 2, 2018. The series focuses on the health and resiliency of Lake Champlain Basin, especially with the increase of extreme weather events. VT EPSCoR Science Leaders (pictured above) from the University of Vermont who are from multiple disciplines ranging from engineering, social, natural and computational sciences, were instrumental in the content development and provided guidance on the science and complex issues surrounding the Lake Champlain Basin. Together they work with broader teams of researchers from across the state on the National Science Foundation (NSF) VT EPSCoR RII-Track-1 Award, Lake Champlain Basin Resilience to Extreme Events (BREE).

Featuring interviews with scientists, community members, policy makers, farmers, business owners, and stakeholders, the series creates a comprehensive look at the watershed, which includes approximately 40% of Vermont. The three thought-provoking short documentaries were designed to help tell the interesting story of how we have tried to keep our waterways clean; the impacts of human activity on the waterways especially relative to phosphorus and other contaminants; and efforts underway towards a more resilient future using a coupled human and natural systems approach. The science considering decisions made today and the alternative futures that could potentially lie ahead for our communities. Saving Our Waters aims to examine the state of the Lake Champlain Basin today in an age of extreme weather events and the importance of resiliency and what that means to community members and decision makers.

The series was complemented by multiple town hall meetings in some of the communities most affected by watershed issues. Vermont PBS also aired a panel discussion on the Lake Champlain basin that was pre-recorded in Montreal, Canada – one of many sources of water flowing into Lake Champlain and the pollutants associated with it. Corresponding curriculum guides for each of the episodes were developed and are available to all middle and high schools throughout Vermont.

Anyone who wishes to add their voice to the conversation may do so by visiting http://resilientwaters.org – a website specifically designed by social science researchers, Asim Zia, Ph.D. and Christopher Koliba, Ph.D, professors in the Community Development & Applied Economics Department of UVM, and science leaders for VT EPSCoR, for this important topic.

To view the series, town-hall meetings and curriculum guides, please visit: https://www.vermontpbs.org/water/