March 11, 2016
Trout habitat will be improved, water will be cleaner and invasive plants will be better controlled, thanks to funding from Vermont's 2016 Watershed Grant Program.
The program, established by the legislature in 1998 and financed by a portion of the sales of the Vermont Conservation License Plates, provides funding to non-profits and towns wanting to improve aquatic habitat, water quality and flood resiliency. Co-administered by Vermont Fish & Wildlife and the Department of Environmental Conservation, the grant program supports both hands-on projects, such as removing an old dam as well as educational, such as outreach on invasive plants. Either way, purchases of conservation plates directly benefit Vermont's beloved waterways.
Fifteen projects totaling $90,000 were awarded this year from the forty-four grant applications received and a total of $250,000 requested.
* Improving fish passage on the Mad River and Mettawee tributaries
* Removal of an old dam on a West River tributary
* Removing dangerous, dam-related debris on the Missisquoi River
* Watershed planning and outreach, including Lewis Creek
* In-stream and stream bank restoration on the White River
* Milfoil spread prevention on Lake Seymour
* Education-related programs in the Upper Connecticut and Mad River valleys
"These are small grants with big impact," said Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter. "When Vermonters purchase a Conservation License Plate, they are protecting clean water as well as conserving wildlife and important habitats for future generations."
Alyssa Schuren, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation, agreed. "These grants illustrate the importance of providing tools to local communities and their partners for protecting waterways and aquatic habitats," said Schuren. "By building on small successes such as these, we make a difference in protecting clean water statewide."
The grant application period opens in October and closes in late November or early December. Program information can be found on the VTDEC website. The easiest way to find it is to search for "vt watershed grant."
The conservation license plate application can be found at http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com/get_involved/donate/conservation_license_plate.
Proceeds from the sale of conservation license plates also go to the Nongame Wildlife Fund to support the Wildlife Diversity Program.
Media Contact: Chris Saunders, Vermont Fish & Wildlife 802-343-5487; Rick Hopkins, Department of Environmental Conservation, 802-490-6115
Source: Agency of Natural Resources
Last Updated at: March 11, 2016 15:00:05