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GLIN==> NYSG Announces New Lake Champlain Post at Plattsburgh SUNY





Release: Immediate
Contact: Barbara Branca, Paul Focazio
Phone: (516) 632-6956/6910

             Sea Grant Announces New Champlain Post at Plattsburgh

                   NYSG's fisheries specialist moves up north

STONY  BROOK, N.Y., July 21, 1999 - Defining much of the border between New York
State's  North  Country  region  and Vermont with its 587 miles of shoreline and
over  70  islands, historic Lake Champlain is the largest freshwater lake in the
United  States  outside  of  the Great Lakes. And, as a result of changes in the
recent  Sea  Grant  Reauthorization Act, there now exists an opportunity for Sea
Grant  to provide outreach to the more than 650,000 people who currently live in
the drainage basin of this long lake. In this respect, New York Sea Grant (NYSG)
announces  its  efforts  to  bring  research-based extension and outreach to the
region  surrounding  Lake  Champlain  with  the  funding  of two public outreach
positions.

Backed  by  NYSG's  25-year  history  in  implementing  its  own solid proactive
outreach  program,  NYSG  Director  Jack  Mattice  and  Associate  Director  and
Extension  Program  Leader  Dale  Baker  have for some time sought ways to adapt
NYSG

?s  infrastructure  to  provide  leadership for a Lake Champlain effort. The
pair   worked   closely   with  Malcolm  Fairweather,  Director  for  Earth  and
Environmental  Science  at  the  State  University  of  New  York at Plattsburgh
(Plattsburgh SUNY), and Lawrence Forcier, Dean of the Division of Agriculture at
the  University  of  Vermont  (UVM), on the program?s details. Director Mattice,
Horace  Judson,  President of Plattsburgh SUNY, and Judith Ramaley, President of
UVM,  sent  a letter of endorsement of this collaborative effort to National Sea
Grant Program Director Ronald Baird.

The  proposal  for  this joint New York-Vermont initiative, drafted by Baker and
NYSG  Great  Lakes  program  coordinator  Dave  White,  calls  for two Sea Grant
extension  specialists--  one  at  UVM  and  one at Plattsburgh SUNY, where that
specialist  will  be  associated  with  that  school?s  Lake  Champlain Research
Institute. After a national search process, the position at Plattsburgh SUNY was
recently filled by NYSG's marine district fisheries specialist Mark H. Malchoff,
a professional extension specialist with over 16 years experience. Advertisement
for the UVM position will follow shortly after Malchoff's arrival at Plattsburgh
SUNY, scheduled for August 2, 1999.

Malchoff's  primary  focus  as an extension specialist most recently has been in
planning,  developing,  conducting  and  evaluating  regional programming in Sea
Grant's  marine district related to fisheries biology, management, conservation,
restoration  and  aquaculture.  Prior to his years with extension, Malchoff, who
holds  a  M.S.  in Environmental Studies from Bard College and a B.S. in Natural
Resources  from  Cornell University, was a fisheries technician for the New York
State Department of Environmental Conservation.

"I'm  pleased  that  we've  been  able to recruit such an experienced and expert
specialist  [as  Malchoff] who will be able to hit the ground running to get the
Sea  Grant  program  integrated  with  the  other  efforts in the Lake Champlain
region,"   says   Mattice.  Baker  adds,  "Malchoff's  extensive  experience  in
developing  coastal  outreach programs will help to ensure that this effort will
be one of positive action and quality."

In  supporting  this  project  to  improve  the  quality  of Lake Champlain, The
National Sea Grant Program has committed $427,500 over a three-year period, with
an  additional $247,000 in matching funds pooled from NYSG, Plattsburgh SUNY and
UVM. During this inaugural term, the newly-formed Lake Champlain Sea Grant Board
set  up  to oversee and advise this comprehensive outreach effort will utilize a
programmatic  planning and review process to identify a series of coastal issues
to  be  addressed.  As  a  result  of initial discussions, both Malchoff and the
yet-to-be-hired outreach specialist at UVM will work basin-wide on such priority
issues  as water quality, non-point source pollution, sustainable development in
the  coastal  region,  coastal  economic development, recreational fisheries and
aquatic exotic species.

The  economy  and  ecosystem  health  of the Lake Champlain Basin are integrally
linked. Thus, according to Mattice, "The first focus of Mark's effort will be on
learning  from the individuals and groups who are already working to develop the
local economy in the basin while protecting the environment." Traditionally, the
basin  had  a  rural  resource-based  economy. Farming, forestry, boat building,
mining  and guiding provided significant employment. Commercial fishing, logging
and  maple  syrup  production  provided direct economic returns from the basin?s
diverse  natural  resources.  In  recent  years, sportfishing, hunting, boating,
hiking,  and  cross-country  skiing?all  made attractive by the area?s excellent
water  quality  and wildlife habitat?have bolstered tourism and local businesses
moving the Lake Champlain basin toward a service economy.

"As  the new effort gets underway," says Mattice, "maintaining and improving the
economic  and  environmental  vitality of communities surrounding Lake Champlain
will  be  fostered  by  a  Sea  Grant  program  designed to help the watershed?s
inhabitants  and  visitors  take  actions  needed  to protect the quality of the
lake's waters and its other natural and cultural resources."

The  New  York  Sea  Grant  Institute  is  a  cooperative  program  of the State
University  of  New  York  and  Cornell  University  that  engages  in research,
education  and outreach concerning the state's marine and Great Lakes resources.
For further information regarding NYSG's joint venture with Plattsburgh SUNY and
UVM  to  create  this Lake Champlain water research outreach project, as well as
additional NYSG-funded efforts, visit our web site, <www.seagrant.sunysb.edu>.