BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A program that helps fund scientific studies of Lake Champlain has a new designation that more than doubles its budget for research about the lake.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Sea Grant College Program granted the Lake Champlain Sea Grant program institute status.

The new designation increases in its base budget from $400,000 to $1 million annually. The money is used to improve the environment and economy in the Lake Champlain Basin.

The designation is the second highest level of recognition within the four-tiered National Sea Grant College Program.

The program is a cooperative effort of the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont and the Lake Champlain Research Institute at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh.