WCAX, ECHO team up to make you an environmental reporter

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Exciting news from Channel 3 and our partners at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington! There's a new exhibit that allows you to try your hand reporting on some of the environmental issues that matter most in our region.

Our Cat Viglienzoni went there to show you how it works.

Reporter Cat Viglienzoni: We're here at ECHO with Nina Ridhibhinyo in the WCAX Lake News Studio. Tell me how long this has been here so far.

Nina Ridhibhinyo: So, this has been up for about a week. Visitors are really excited. So you can come into the news studio and be a reporter just like you at WCAX!

Cat Viglienzoni: Walk us through the process. How does it go?

Nina Ridhibhinyo: All right, so when you come up, you touch the screen to begin. And that's going to give you a choice of six different lake stewardship stories.

Cat Viglienzoni: OK. So, let's say I want to do beach reopening. That's a Burlington story. Then I have to stand right here.

Nina Ridhibhinyo: Yep. Gary is your boss today. He's going to give you some instructions.

Cat Viglienzoni: OK, so Gary is going to give me some instructions. And then-- why did you choose some of these topics?

Nina Ridhibhinyo: So these are real issues that our lake is facing. So we wanted people to have the opportunity to learn about the issues the lake is having, but also get really involved in communicating that to the public. So you'll see beach reopening, you'll see stormwater runoff, dam removal. So these are all based on real activities that are happening.

Cat Viglienzoni: So once I'm done here, where do I go?

Nina Ridhibhinyo: So once the story is done, we're going to wrap up and it's going to be sent to the editing studio. Is that something you have at your workplace?

Cat Viglienzoni: It's absolutely something we have at our workplace. So once I'm at the editing station, I would touch this. And then what would I do after that?

Nina Ridhibhinyo: So now you have the choice of being either done watching it or you can save and email yourself the report. And that's going to be integrated with an introduction from the WCAX News team, and a PSA that was created for the lake news studio about the issues facing our lake.

Cat Viglienzoni: And so why focus on lake issues as opposed to just doing something like a weather forecast?

Nina Ridhibhinyo: Well, that's what ECHO is all about, is the ways that we can care for Lake Champlain. We're located here on Lake Champlain. And the stewardship of the Lake Champlain is a major part of our mission.

Cat Viglienzoni: And what do you hope that the people who do these reports will take away from it?

Nina Ridhibhinyo: So we hope people become more familiar with the issues facing Lake Champlain, but also feel empowered to do something about them and also communicate those issues to other people. Because sharing and talking about these issues are the only ways they're going to be solved.

Cat Viglienzoni: Absolutely. Nina, thank you for your time today.

Nina Ridhibhinyo: You're welcome.