MONTPELIER – Whether it’s a favorite swimming hole, an iconic stream running through town, or a fishing spot along the shores of Lake Champlain, every Vermonter has a connection to the state’s many lakes, ponds, wetlands, and streams. Each resident can also play a meaningful role cleaning up Vermont’s polluted waterways.
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) invites residents with connections to Vermont’s waterways to attend public meetings to weigh in on water quality improvement projects and hear updates on the overall restoration plans.
Between November 28 – 30th, DEC is hosting four public meetings to provide updates and gather feedback on two clean water implementation plans. The South Lake Champlain Tactical Basin Plan (TBP) and the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Phase II Draft Plan outline a series of action steps to improve state waterways. These plans also provide information about how landowners, organizations, and communities can access clean water funding and technical assistance.
The goal of the South Lake Champlain Tactical Basin Plan is protect, maintain, restore, and enhance surface waters through the implementation of high priority actions. The Tactical Basin Plan provides an overall assessment of the health of the South Lake Champlain Basin, which covers approximately 500 square miles through 24 towns from Rupert to Charlotte, and defines ongoing and future strategies to address high-priority stressors like channel erosion, invasive species, and excess nutrients. This assessment helps inform project design and implementation. The plan also sets priorities for meeting targets for phosphorus loading from the South Lake and all the waters in its drainage basin.
“The South Lake Champlain Tactical Basin Plan is an important tool for protecting our valuable water resources,” says Kevin Behm, Addison County Regional Planning Commission Assistant Director. “Implementation of the projects identified in the plan will ensure the reduction of phosphorus in Lake Champlain is achieved in a timely manner under the Lake Champlain TMDL and the Vermont Water Quality Standards.”
The main aim of the North Lake Champaign TMDL Phase II plan is to establish targets for phosphorus loading from the Northern Lake Champlain Direct Drainages. This plan helps ensure the overall phosphorus budget established in the Lake Champlain TMDL is met. The Phase II plan identifies potential target areas for implementation of sector-based strategies. At the upcoming public meetings, DEC staff and partners will share important updates about phosphorus-load modeling and projected phosphorus reductions across sub-watersheds and sectors.
These plans are the result of collaboration with local, State, federal and non-profit partners. Next week’s public meetings will bring these and other key watershed partners together with members of the public to discuss clean water implementation plans. Meetings will take place in the evening at the following locations:
South Lake Champlain Tactical Basin Plan Draft Public Meetings
- POULTNEY | November 28, 4:00– 6:00 PM, Southern Vermont Office of TNC, The Bentley House, 348 Bentley Ave
- ORWELL | November 29, 7 – 9 PM, Orwell Free Library, 473 Main St
North Lake Champlain TMDL Phase II Draft Plan Update Public Meetings
- ST. ALBANS CITY | November 28, 5:00-6:30 PM, Northwestern Medical Center, Conference Room #2, 133 Fairfield Street
- ESSEX JUNCTION | November 30, 5:00-6:30 PM, Fish and Wildlife building in the Act 250 conference room, ANR Essex Junction Regional Office, 111 West Street
For those unable to participate in the meetings, more information can be found at http://dec.vermont.gov/watershed/map/basin-planning/basin5 and http://dec.vermont.gov/watershed/map/basin-planning/basin4