Volunteer Spotlight - Beth Torpey

For those who have never visited Seymour Lake in Morgan, Vermont – you’re missing out. This glacial lake in the Northeast Kingdom offers some of the most spectacular views, crystal clear waters, and excellent fishing opportunities in Vermont. It is also free of aquatic invasive species (AIS) such as Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels that have plagued other waterbodies. Preventing the introduction of these species, and countless others, into Seymour Lake is no small task. Thankfully, the lake has Beth Torpey leading the defense against unwanted exotic invaders.

For nearly two decades, Beth has been involved with AIS spread prevention efforts in her community. Beth has had a hand in such diverse efforts as early aquatic plant monitoring, the inception of one of the state’s first public access greeter programs, and the comprehensive management activities in place at Seymour today. In 2016, she spearheaded a plan to purchase and install a watercraft decontamination station for AIS at the Seymour public access area. While implementation of the station has been a complicated process, it will aid in the ongoing battle to prevent AIS from gaining a foothold in the lake for years to come. While she has been a key player, Beth is quick to point out that none of these efforts would have been possible without the strong volunteer base of dozens of individuals in the Seymour Lake community.

Protection of environmental resources is not a new concept for Beth; she’s had over 30 years of experience as an environmental scientist in both the public and private sector and in academia. She has been involved with federal, state, and local permitting, regulatory compliance, contract management, water quality and watershed management, “green” research and development, and sustainability research. She has been a board member for the Federation of Vermont Lakes and Ponds (FOVLAP), the Memphremagog Watershed Association, the Northwoods Stewardship Center, and the Seymour Lake Association. Additionally, she has represented FOVLAP on the Lake Champlain Invasive Species Committee and the Northeast Chapter of the North American Lakes Management Society. Her master’s thesis abstract, entitled “Global Sustainability, the Evolution of Consciousness and the Role of Water,” was recently published in the 2016 Science of Consciousness Conference book.

When she’s not scouring the shallows for invasive plants in her trusty kayak or serving on environmental boards, she can be found hiking the Green Mountain State’s peaks with her nieces, nephews, and dog, or skiing those peaks in the winter months. She’s also rumored to be world-class cribbage and backgammon player.

If you find yourself at Seymour Lake sometime soon, and happen to run into Beth, be sure to thank her for all of her tireless work to preserve the lake as one of Vermont’s premiere aquatic destinations.