Missisquoi Bay watershed plan needs public input

The recent passage of Act 64, the Vermont Clean Water Act, is a game-changer for Vermont, providing additional tools and resources to support comprehensive water quality planning and remediation. The Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) will take steps towards developing concrete plan for each of Vermont’s watersheds to effectively direct all available resources towards reducing pollution in rivers, streams, ponds and lakes.

The ANR Watershed Management Division is in the midst of preparing the tactical basin plan for the Missisquoi Bay watershed, and invites community involvement to assist with the identification of specific water quality issues.  The Missisquoi Bay watershed, Basin 6, encompasses the Missisquoi, Pike and Rock Rivers as well as the shoreline of the bay. Land and streambank erosion, nutrient loading, and shoreland encroachment from development are the main stressors that negatively impact water quality and aquatic habitat in this watershed. At the public meetings we will discuss the expected priority actions to address these issues for Basin 6 that will include:
• Identifying projects to address agricultural landuse and stormwater runoff from roads and development; and
• Preparing road erosion inventories and capital budgets for towns in the basin;
• Improved flood resilience by protecting river corridors and municipal infrastructure.

Please attend an upcoming meeting, co-hosted by Northwest Regional Planning Commission and watershed partners to share your priorities.  Upcoming meetings with refreshments provided:

March 31, 2016 from 7:00-9:00 pm at the Emergency Services Building, 83 Sampsonville Road, Enosburg Falls.  This meeting is a part of Missisquoi River Basin Association’s Annual Forum.
Presentation on water quality sampling at 7:00pm, the Basin Plan at 7:30pm, followed by storytelling by John Little at 8:30pm

April 21, 2016 6:00-7:00 pm at the Westfield Community Center, 110 N. Hill Road, Westfield (Hosted by the Upper Missisquoi and Trout Rivers Wild and Scenic Committee).

May 24, 2016 from 5:00-6:30 pm at the Franklin Town Hall, 5336 Main Street, Franklin (Hosted by the Lake Carmi TMDL Implementation Team)

Karen Bates, basin planner for ANR and coordinator of the Plan said, “In this planning process, we are focused both on improvement of water quality and also the health of the aquatic habitat that is vital to our fisheries. We cannot complete this work alone. This plan should reflect the recommendations of local watershed groups, residents, a variety of stakeholders, as well as other State and federal agencies.”