Two New Plans Outline Strategy to Restore and Protect the Connecticut River and Lake Champlain

 

February 5, 2021 – The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in collaboration with local nonprofits, town officials, scientists and regional planners, finalized two tactical basin plans that outline the strategy to restore and protect rivers, lakes and wetlands across much of the state, from Ferrisburgh to Peacham.

The Tactical Basin Plans for Northern Lake Champlain Direct Drainages and the Stevens, Wells, Waits, Ompompanoosuc and Connecticut River Direct Tributaries provide details on how DEC will work alongside nonprofits, farmers, towns, landowners, and Natural Resource Conservation Districts to continue to improve water quality, restore aquatic habitats, and prevent future pollution.

“DEC has made a concerted effort in the last several years to engage Vermont municipalities,” said Dan Albrecht, senior planner for the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission. “Towns play a critical role in improving water quality – from good road management to stormwater improvements. This Basin Plan reflects their input and information provided to us by the Regional Planning Commission.” 

Each plan identifies specific approaches that will ensure agricultural, development, wastewater, and natural resources activities are managed in a way that protects water quality. For example, the Vermont River and Road Workshops offered by DEC  train town road crews on how to direct road runoff away from streams. These free trainings empower local road crews to initiate important water quality projects, such as slope stabilization using bioengineering, to reduce erosion. 

The plans also include information for landowners, watershed organizations, and communities about how to access funding and get assistance from state scientists to protect ponds and streams on their land and in their communities.

“If you’re curious about what the State is doing to protect water quality, I encourage you to read these plans to find ways you can support this work in your community,” said Karen Bates, Watershed Planner for DEC.

The final plans and engaging visual and map-based plan summaries known as story maps can be found on the DEC’s basin web pages or contacting the respective planner, see below:

The Northern Lake Champlain Direct Drainages is available online at https://dec.vermont.gov/water-investment/watershed-planning/tactical-basin-planning/basin5 or by contacting Karen Bates at  Karen.Bates@vermont.gov or (802) 490-6144,

The Stevens, Wells, Waits, Ompompanoosuc & Connecticut River Direct Tributaries is available online at https://dec.vermont.gov/water-investment/watershed-planning/tactical-basin-planning/basin14 or by contacting Danielle Owczarski by email or phone: Danielle.Owczarski@vermont.gov or (802) 490-6176.