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Flood Recovery Work in Rivers and Streams

For Immediate Release – July 14, 2023

Media Contacts:
Rob Evans, Rivers Program Manager
Department of Environmental Conservation

Will Eldridge, Aquatic Habitat Biologist
Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department

Flood Recovery Work in Rivers and Streams

Montpelier, Vt. – Flood events require work within rivers and streams to protect and repair human investments and related infrastructure. Towns have the authority to implement Emergency Protective Measures to protect public safety when a flood occurs. 

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regulates activities in rivers and streams to ensure that work does not create additional flood hazards. The most common issue after a flood is over-dredging of rivers or excessive streambank filling.

While limited excavations and streambank stabilization may be needed to maintain river channel capacity and protect investments, over-dredging or over-filling creates a much more unstable river which threatens adjacent property and infrastructure during the next flood. The Fish and Wildlife Department (FWD) recommends leaving boulders, log jams, and other natural structures in streams when not hazardous to human safety. This can help streams and rivers by slowing floodwaters and benefits ecological recovery and fish populations.

For work that needs to be done in rivers and streams to recover from the recent July flooding, the following measures must be taken:

  • Towns are required to report the location and nature of Emergency Protective Measure work to DEC within 72 hours. Alternatively, location information and narrative description can be emailed to
  • Take photos of the work before and after completion. Photo documentation may help determine if the work is eligible for available disaster recovery funds.
  • Comply with the State Stream Alteration Rule for any instream work. This work may require follow-up work to ensure compliance and qualify for federal reimbursement for eligible work.

DEC may require a permit and follow-up work at a later date if deemed necessary for a safe river condition.

For more information on flood recovery resources from the Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation, Fish and Wildlife Department, or the Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, visit


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