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Petition calls for closing the Champlain Canal - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Petition calls for closing the Champlain Canal

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COLCHESTER, Vt. -

A petition drive to close the Champlain Canal is the latest effort to protect Lake Champlain against the spiny water flea.

Last month, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, held a press conference asking New York officials to close the canal to protect Lake Champlain from the invasive species, which was recently found inside the locks. That request was quickly turned down.

Now, Lake Champlain International, a lake advocacy group, picked up the call and started an online petition drive this week. So far, they've received nearly 400 signatures from places like New York, Vermont, Russia and the Netherlands. The group is hoping for numbers that legislators can't ignore.

"Our hope with the petition is that we're showing the New York government, who's been resistant to closing the canal, that there is so much support behind disconnecting it, that it really does need to happen," said Ross Saxton of Lake Champlain International.

Click here for a link to that petition.

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