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In October of 2003, just five months after it opened as Vermont’s premier lake aquarium and science center, ECHO at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain was awarded Vermont’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) Green Building Certification by the United States Green Building Council.

ECHO became the first LEED certified building in the state of Vermont and the only lake aquarium in the United States with this certification. With this designation, ECHO is the third certified building in New England and joined a group of fewer than 70 LEED certified buildings in the United States.Tom Billings, Custodian, uses a green glass cleaner to keep ECHO sparking. All of the products Tom uses are green-certified.

In conjunction with the certification, ECHO developed an energy and environmental quest that guests may take throughout the building during their visit to ECHO that showcases the visible LEED certification elements such as recycled building materials, motion sensing lights, and toilets that let you choose how much water to use. The “E2 Quest” serves as a fun scavenger hunt inside ECHO as well as provides guests with ideas for how to conserve energy in their own homes.

Sugarsnap Café

Enjoy tasty homemade dishes made with fresh local and seasonal ingredients while learning all about the 3 R’s: Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling. Activities on café trays and a recycle-and-compost center are just a few of the opportunities that await — along with stunning views of the Adirondack Mountains and the Lake. Read more.

Current Waves

Looking for seasonal topics or current science on the Lake? Check out our Current Waves workbench on the top floor of ECHO. Here we'll have articles, research, and stewardship information.

University of Vermont Wet Lab

The Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory is a lakefront extension of the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont (UVM). The laboratory is also used by Saint Michael's College in a partnership with UVM. It houses state-of-the-art research facilities, including laboratories for the study of contaminants, water and sediment quality, and aquatic biota including fish, invertebrates and algae. The laboratory provides researchers with the tools necessary to investigate and understand the ecosystem processes that determine ecological health and influence the quality of life for the human community in the Basin. The UVM research vessel Melosira is docked adjacent to the facility, providing access for research and teaching on Lake Champlain. The facility also provides a teaching laboratory for use by UVM, Saint Michael's College, and ECHO .

Jason Stockwell, Director Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory
Three College Street
Burlington, Vermont 05401ECHO's building uses a special Heating and Ventilation system that keeps us comfortable with minimal energy consumption.

Telephone: (802) 859-3086
Rubenstein Lab Web Address:
UVM Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources
Web Address:

The Lake's Mist

During the warmer months the slate rocks out front of ECHO will often erupt with a mysterious mist that brings to mind the primordial forces that shaped the Lake Champlain basin thousands of years ago. The mist is also a great way to cool off on a hot summer day!

Champlain Marble

Both ECHO's Front Desk and three story Waterwall are made of Champlain Black Marble. This rare and ancient stone is over 300 million years old, and is actually a type of Limestone. Champlain Marble comes from Isle La Motte, VT and was formed in the oldest coral reef known on Earth; a reef that was over 1,000 miles long, stretching from Newfoundland to Tennessee! Look closely at the Waterwall and you can see fossils of some of the many creatures that inhabited the ancient sea - animals that ranged from tiny arthropods to multi-legged relatives of squid.


©2015 Leahy Center for Lake Champlain - ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center - One College St. - Burlington VT 05401 - 802.864.1848 - 1.877.324.6386
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