Opinion: Boater befouls Lake Champlain

“What’s Your Watermark?” a film dedicated to the positive ways in which all Vermonters by observing simple responsible practices can protect and preserve the purity of the Vermont’s precious water for present and future generations, was broadcast on PBS recently. As a longtime Vermont resident, sailor and year-round lakeside home owner, I was thrilled to observe how we can better protect our most precious resource.
Sadly, I was brought up short just a few days after the PBS showing: shocked, stunned, nauseated and outraged to observe a woman pooping off the stern of a sleek powerboat less than 25 feet off my shoreline while her four companions continued to fish.
She carefully orchestrated her defecation. First, by taking a fold out swim ladder from the stern compartment, removing her shorts and panties, followed by perching on the ladder to perform her foul action. Obviously she had done this before. I was shocked; wrongly I had assumed she was going for a swim.
What was she thinking? First, to do it in the lake at all, but second, right in my front yard.
I leave that for others to determine.
Had I been able to see the boat’s registration number I would have called the Coast Guard — but alas, it was not visible. As I started down our stairs to the lake, the perpetrators took off.
May this be a freak event. I hope so.
May the thousands of fisherman, sailors and boaters on Lake Champlain this Fourth of July take time to pay tribute to this magnificent resource and to the people who work hard to keep it so.
What’s your watermark? May it be to preserve and protect, not foul our natural legacy.
Mary K. Kerr

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