The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources has announced the release of the draft Deerfield River and Lower Connecticut River Basin (Basins 12 – 13) Water Quality Management Tactical Basin Plan for public comment. This plan reflects years of preparation within the region to evaluate the health of the basin.
The Basin 12-13 Water Quality Management Plan provides an overview of the health of the basin and a description of the priority future and ongoing steps to restore and protect the quality of its surface waters. Watershed Coordinator, Marie Levesque Caduto said, “This Plan reflects what is happening on the ground with the rivers, streams and lakes in southeastern Vermont. The Agency is looking to the communities for information on anything they are aware of that we might have missed. I hope folks will take the time to look at it and share their knowledge of local waters.”
The central component of the water quality management plan is the implementation table, which offers specific actions to address threats to surface waters in the basin. Examples of some of the priority actions in the plan include mapping river corridors with high erosion hazards, protecting waters that offer outstanding recreational opportunities, working with towns to apply for Better Back Road grants and to include protections for fluvial erosion hazard zones in local zoning, and expanding agricultural water quality programs to farms in the region to address water resource concerns.
Neil Kamman, manager of the Watershed Management Division’s Monitoring Assessment and Planning Program said “This is the first coordinated water quality management plan issued for this part of the State in many years. I am thrilled at the level of participation invested by many partner organizations in this Plan, which will result in positive outcomes in the form of water quality protection and restoration in targeted areas of the watershed. The geographically explicit action items can be directly supported by any number of programs and we look forward to receiving robust public input on this draft.”
The draft plan is being released for public review and meetings will be held on January 23rd and January 29th to receive public comment (see below). Public comments are requested by February 19th, and should be directed to: Marie Levesque Caduto, DEC/ WSMD, 100 Mineral St., Suite 303, Springfield, VT 05156, or Marie.Caduto@state.vt.us. The Plan and appendices are available on-line at: http://www.vtwaterquality.org/ or by request at 802-885-8958.
Public Meeting Information:
January 23 (6:30-8pm): Marlboro College Graduate Center, 28 Vernon Street, Brattleboro VT. Snow Date: Feb. 5th
January 29 (6:30-8pm): Wilmington Town Offices, 2 East Main Street, Wilmington VT. Snow Date: Feb. 4th