Not everyone is happy. Congressmen from the original Great Lake states are foremost among the critics. Lobbying against the change, Steven LaTourette, a Republican member of the House of Representatives from Ohio, said if Lake Champlain ended up as a Great Lake, "I propose we rename it `Lake Plain Sham'."
Mr LaTourette is co-chairman of the congressional Great Lakes task force, entrusted with overseeing management of and funding for the lakes.
Lake Champlain, said one television commentator, is "an ice-age mud puddle that doesn't even appear on some maps".
The critics have a point, Lake Champlain is less than one-tenth of the size of the smallest Great Lake, Lake Ontario, 490sq miles compared to 7,420sq miles. It is not even attached to the Great Lakes system.
The nub of the issue, as so often, is politics, and money. The designation "Great Lake" brings with it the chance to compete for large sums of federal funding. The possibility was spotted by a Vermont Senator, Patrick Leahy, a Democrat, who managed to have "his" lake's eligibility inserted into the Bill at a late stage.
The Great Lakes states understandably fear any money spent on Lake Champlain will mean less money for them.Reuse content