Restore the Bay 
Tees Still Available
Get yours today!

We have a limited number of Restore the Bay performance tees in adult, womens and youth sizes from the 5K! 

They are cool, 
comfortable and 
highly visible. 
Wear with pride 
while spreading 
the message that 
you care about 
St. Albans Bay! 
They make great gifts as well.

Restore the Bay
tee shirt special:

Get yours while they last!

Please email us 
if you would like 
to purchase a shirt.

We will soon be posting an approcimate schedule of where the Harvester will be working this summer. At the beginning of the year, it will start where there seems to be the greatest need. Watch this space for schedule updates. If you would like to coordinate shore clean-up with the operators, please contact Steve Cushing at 782-5675.
SAAWA 2021: 
Summer Membership 
Drive & Kayak Raffle
From now until August 1, 2021, when you join or 
renew any SAAWA membership, you will be entered 
to win a great little kayak package. The package includes 
a Lotus 8' kayak, a paddle and life vest valued around $350. 

The higher your membership level, the more chances 
you will have to win the kayak!  Download the flyer for details!

We hope to have an occasional table at the St. Albans Bay Farmer's Market this summer on Thursdays from 4:30-7:30 (please check Facebook to see if we will be there!) or you can join online and we will enter for you!

If you stop by the Farmers' Market, we would love to say 'hi' and you can see what SAAWA is currently working on to help restore the Bay. Hope to see you there!

SAAWA News Update 2020 
Sadly, due to Covid, this year we were not able to 
hold our annual meeting at the Bay Park last year. 
We will miss our summer get-together but hope to 
continue our tradition again soon. For now, we are 
conducting virtual meetings and will communicate 
with members via email/newsletter. Latest 
SAAWA Newsletter is now available online! 

SAAWA is an all-volunteer organization. We could 
really use your your help to continue to advocate 
for clean water and push for more effective action
 to restore the lake. Here in Franklin County, the water of St.Albans Bay continues to be impaired and progress continues to be lacking.

Please make this the year that you jump in and join us. It's a great way to learn more about water quality issues and volunteer in the grass roots of your community to push for real change and clean water. Come to a Board Meeting! Please email us if you would like to attend and we will include you in the meeting notices.  Click here to subscribe to our e-list.

We could use your help with membership, website management, Facebook posts, issue research, newsletter  production and much more. If you would like to help, please email Steve Langevin: [email protected].


SAAWA Completes 
2020 Weed Harvesting Season
This will be SAAWA’s 16th season of harvester operation on St. Albans Bay. Two workers are employed to operate SAAWA's two weed harvesters and tractor which transports harvested weeds from the Bay to composting sites. Weed harvesting  began on July 15th, as per our permit, and will end September 15th.  

Weed growth is substantially higher this year. While last year, the harvester pulled 3 loads on the first day, This year it was 15 loads. 

The primary areas of operation are along the easterly shore of St. Albans Bay in the vicinity of Ferrand Road in Georgia and Bingham Shore Road in the Town of St. Albans, south from Black Bridge for about ½ mile adjacent to Hathaway Point Road, and from the fishing access to Hathaway Point. 

Weed harvesting has been shown to improve water quality by removing organic matter which otherwise  decomposes in the Bay, allows for better water circulation and removes nutrients which feed algae blooms. 

Funding for weed harvesting is provided by The Town of St. Albans ($7,500.00). the Town of Georgia ($2,500.00) , the City of St. Albans ($10,000.00) and an Aquatic Nuisance Control Grant-in-Aid 
awarded by the Vermont Department of Environmental 
Conservation in the amount of $5,038.00, proceeds from 
the Restore the Bay 5K and donations by SAAWA members. 

As in past years, we are also requesting contributions 
from property owners to help fund the weed harvesting 
program. We are grateful for those who continue to 
support this effort to help restore and reduce weeds 
in the Bay.

We encourage shoreline property owners to inform Steve Cushing, 
weed harvesting coordinator, of problem areas you experience 
around the Bay. We would be very happy to work with individuals to 
clean the shoreline of accumulated weeds. Steve can be reached 
at 782-5675.

Contributions can be mailed to St. Albans Area Watershed Association, 
P.O. Box 1567, St. Albans, VT 05478 or click to donate online securely via Paypal.

Learn more by downloading our Weed Harvesting informational brochure. 

​Cormorants on Lazy Lady Island
Since about 2016, double-crested cormorants have been taking up 
residence on Lazy Lady Island in St.Albans Bay. (See article in the St.
Albans Messenger, 7.14.20). Protected as a migratory species, 
they have been nesting unimpeded and are taking a toll on the trees 
and vegetation on the island. The birds destroy the trees for their nests, 
and their guano burns the vegetation under the trees and they damage
water quality. They discourage nesting herons on the island. Once the 
trees are destroyed, ring necked gulls will move in and the island will be lost. 
Left unchecked, Lazy Lady risks complete defoliation within the next 
3-5 years. Efforts are being made to contact the landowner for permission to discourage nesting next year. We will support these efforts in any way we can 
and update you when we have more information on this situation. 

Cyanobacteria Information
Weed growth and hot temperatures may create hazardous blue green algae conditions this summer. When cyanobacteria is present, it is best to avoid contact. You can find information on identifying cyanobacteria at You can also access a cyanobacteria tracker map here.

Report a cyanobacteria bloom here.

Glyphosate: Increasing phosphorus runoff and toxic too?  
SAAWA has been looking at work done on the effects of the broad-spectrum herbicide glyphosate and the damage its increasing use may have created in our watershed. Sold under the name Roundup, but also used in other herbicide formulations, farmers and property owners use glyphosate for weed control. Concerns are being raised not only regarding the toxic potential of this substance, but also regarding the effect that surfactants in the glyphosate solutions have on speeding delivery of phosphorus and other nutrients into the lake. Studies are being done around Lake Erie which seem to connect the use of glyphosate to a dramatic increase in nutrient runoff. In our area, densely planted with corn, this is a great concern. We believe this is a subject that has been largely ignored, despite widespread use in our watershed, and the Board is working to bring attention to what is potentially a huge problem in our area.

Food for Thought... Rethinking Agriculture in Vermont
Regeneration Vermont has been promoting an idea that agriculture in Vermont needs to change -- for the benefit of farmers, consumers and the environment. SAAWA has been raising this issue for some time now. We are not anti-farm. We want to see farms continue to thrive in Vermont. There are many farmers spendiing money and effort trying to do the right thing, but the rise of CAFO and monocropped corn in our area has certainly not been compatible with clean water. We see it daily. Not only does not seem profitable for the farmers, it requires increased pesticide use, contributes to runoff and phosphorus load. This is a discussion that needs to be had and we believe Vermont can do better. 

To learn more, visit

From an article in Vermont Digger by Michael Colby and Will Allen: 

Vermont agriculture exists in what seems to be two parallel universes, one in our minds and the other in reality. When people are asked to think about or imagine Vermont farming, they’ll inevitably mention grass and pastures and grazing cows, all with a perfect blue sky and just the right puffy clouds. It’s a well-marketed image, and comes attached to flavors like Cherry Garcia and slogans like “farmer owned.”

But the reality is much different. Because a vast majority of Vermont’s agriculture – more than 70 percent — is all about commodity-driven, nonorganic dairy production, where GMO crops dominate, cows are on concrete, gorged and fully dosed with an array of pharmaceuticals, fields are bathed in toxic pesticides, and our waterways are declared impaired as a result of the nitrogen and phosphorus-rich farm runoff.

Read the whole thing.

Future plans
SAAWA is focused on real, in-lake cleanup measures, as well as pressing for better land-use practices in the watershed. We are currently exploring the addition of a shoreline conveyor to make weed harvesting more efficient, methods of transporting weeds farther from the watershed, and better ways to combat blue-green algae which recent studies increasingly show may be a serious health hazard

You can support these efforts with your tax-deductible donation to the harvester fund. 

SAAWA is not an organization of property owners. Our goal is to serve as a voice for all of us in this watershed (shore, city and town) to express the need for change, and to coordinate action for real, in-lake clean-up. We are tired of studies and participation in voluntary programs has not been successful. We have, and will continue to advocate for requirements to improve agricultural land use practices 
and for greater investment in enforcement.

Volunteer for a committee or attend the next meeting of the Board Anyone with an interest in serving on the Board is invited to attend a Board meeting.

The St. Albans Area Watershed Association was created in 2002 with the primary goal of restoring the water quality of St. Albans Bay and the surrounding watershed.  We are a grassroots group of individuals -- young and old -- who love the lake and want to see crystal clear waters return to the Bay for the enjoyment and health of people and animals.

homethe watershedpublicationsprojectslinksget involved!about us

st. albans bay
report a pollution problem
working to restore Saint Albans Bay
St. Albans Area Watershed Association | P.O. Box 1567, St. Albans VT 05478 | email: [email protected]
SAAWA logo | return home
lodal weather and water conditions
SAAWA wants to see real change happen in Saint Albans Bay.
Join your neighbors to take action. Support weed harvesting 
and algae remediation in the Bay and better land use practices.

Please support 
the Harvester Fund

Through private donations and municipal grants from the City and Town of St. Albans, and the Town of Georgia, SAAWA is able to operate two harvesters on St. Albans Bay beginning in July, usually around the 15th. We have restored both large and small harvesters and continue to maintain and operate them to reduce weeds in St. Albans Bay.

2018 brought greater than anticipated maintenance costs so we will be soliciting donations from individuals, particularly near the shoreline, to help replace those funds and keep the harvesters running. If you are able to help with this campaign, either by donating or soliciting your neighbors, please email us.

Many thanks to all who continue to renew their membership, make donations and contribute to the Harvester fund. Your contributions make it possible to continue to work of cleaning up the lake and keep excess weeds under control. 
The  St. Albans Area Watershed Association is a non-profit corporation with tax exempt status under IRS section 501(c)(3) TIN 41-2196343.   All Donations are Tax Deductible.

SAAWA Board Meetings 
are scheduled monthly 
on Wednesdays at 5:30 pm
Email for a link to attend. 

Next meeting at the Bayside: 
Wed., June 9 
Your participation is welcome!
link to Harvester Brochure .pdf format
Weed Harvester Page
SAAWA Newsletter Fall 2020
Membership Form
link to flyer