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WUV Spring Meeting, April 13, 2017

posted Mar 16, 2017, 12:57 PM by Lyn Munno   [ updated Mar 31, 2017, 11:21 AM ]

WUV April Watershed Groups Meeting

April 13, 2017

Vermont Law School


Click Here to Register


8:30: Registration, coffee and pastries

9:00: Welcome: Lyn Munno, WUV

9:15: Panel: Working in a Time of Uncertainty: How changes at the State and Federal level are likely to impact watershed work. Panelists: Julie Moore, Secretary of Agency of Natural Resources, David Mears and Pat Parenteau, Vermont Law School, Tom Berry, Senator Leahy’s Office

10:15 Break

10:30: Concurrent Sessions

1. Fundraising: Increasing your fundraising base: Christine Graham, Nonprofit Fundraising Consultant.

2. Stream crossing culvert replacements at a reasonable cost: Mary Russ and Greg Russ, White River Partnership and Kricket McCusker, Engineer

11:30: Concurrent Sessions

1. Legislative Update: What is happening with clean water legislation this session: John Groveman, VNRC

2. Groundwater Recharge and Protection: Marjorie Gale, State Geologist.

12:00: Lunch (order or bring your own)

12:45: Water Quality Monitoring: from Sampling Design to Implementation to Communicating Results: Fritz Gerhardt, Kristen Underwood and Neil Kamman. Small group discussion as well.

1:45: What is new and relevant at DEC: Neil Kamman and Marli Rupe, Department of Environmental Conservation

2:15: Wrap up: Lyn Munno and WUV Steering Committee

Living in Harmony with Streams

posted Dec 12, 2016, 9:14 AM by Lyn Munno

Watersheds United Vermont is pleased to release the 2016 version of the Living in Harmony with Streams Booklet. This booklet is a revision of the original 2012 version. A special thank you to Mike Kline, Vermont DEC Rivers' Program for updating the language from the original booklet. This booklet provides an explanation of stream processes, how land use decisions impact our rivers and streams and what we can do to reduce erosion, protect our floodplains and make our communities more flood resilient. If you are interested in ordering paper copies of the booklet, please email Lyn Munno and watershedsunited@gmail.com. For questions about the content of the booklet, please contact Ann Smith at Friends of the Winooski River at info@winooskiriver.org.

Fall 2016 Watershed Groups Meeting

posted Oct 13, 2016, 10:38 AM by Lyn Munno   [ updated Nov 2, 2016, 8:51 AM ]

Saturday, November 5, 2016
Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center
60 Lake Street
 Burlington, Vermont
9:00am - 3:00pm

Meeting for Watershed Groups, Conservation Districts, Regional Planning Commissions and Partners

Sponsored by Watersheds United Vermont and the Lake Champlain Basin Program 

Click here to register.

Meeting Agenda

9:00 - 9:30: Registration, pastries and coffee

9:30 - 9:45: Keynote: Eric Howe, Lake Champlain Basin Program Director

Morning Sessions: Focused on successful collaborations in Agriculture, Stormwater and Roads. For each of these three sessions, we will have three case studies presented and then time for questions and discussion.  

9:45 - 10:30:
Roads Collaborations: Dave Reckahn, Essex County Soil and Water Conservation District, Kelly Tucker, Ausable River,  and Mary Russ, White River Partnership

10:30 - 10:45: Break

10:45 - 11:30: Stormwater Collaborations: Ann Smith, Friends of the Winooski River, Kim Jensen, Lamoille County Conservation District and Dan Albrecht, Chittenden County RPC

11:30 - 12:15: Agriculture Collaborations:  Hilary Solomon, Poultney-Mettowee NRCD,  Sarah Damsell, Orleans County NRCD,  and Linda Corse, Connecticut River Watershed Farmers Alliance 

12:15 - 1:15: Lunch. Optional lunch to pre-order from Sugarsnap or bring your own. Time for regional water quality gatherings and for networking.

1:15 - 2:30: Concurrent Sessions:

Option 1Water Quality Blueprint Tool : with Rose Paul and Dan Farrell, The Nature Conservancy. The Blueprint is aimed at improving water quality through the best management practice of using natural infrastructure to trap sediments and phosphorus

Option 2: Guided to Success: Working with or serving on a successful nonprofit board with Autumn Barnett of Build. This session will be geared toward our smaller or all volunteer groups, but anyone is welcome.

2:30 2:45: Update on Clean Water Network's work. Facilitated by Barry Lampke, Voices for the Lake

2:45 – 3:00: Wrap Up. WUV and Lake Champlain Basin Program



September is Vermont's River Cleanup Month

posted Sep 14, 2016, 10:09 AM by Elizabeth Gribkoff   [ updated Sep 14, 2016, 10:28 AM ]

When Vermonters think of September, they picture the last days spent swimming in our lakes and rivers, or the first cool nights that signal the start of fall. However, for many Vermonters, September also signifies the perfect time of year to put on some work gloves and join friends and neighbors in hauling tires, refrigerators and shopping carts from our rivers and streams. September is Vermont's River Cleanup Month and Watersheds United Vermont invites interested volunteers to get involved.
Missisquoi River Basin Association volunteers at a cleanup. 
Photo Credit: Lindsey Wight

For years, local watershed groups and other volunteers in Vermont have organized river cleanups to remove trash that has accumulated in our
waterways. Trash in rivers not only creates an eyesore for paddlers and swimmers, but it also negatively impacts riparian wildlife and adds pollutants to our waters. In 2014, the Vermont legislature, recognizing the importance of river cleanups, designated September as Vermont’s official River Cleanup Month. Lyn Munno, director of Watersheds United Vermont (WUV), the organization coordinating the statewide River Cleanup Month effort, says: “September is a great time to clean our rivers- water levels are usually not too high and the temperature is still mild.” 

This September’s river cleanups are already being planned by local groups across the state. In 2015, Vermont River Cleanup Month participants hauled 16,000 pounds of trash from rivers and shorelines at 30 cleanup events.  Mary Russ, Director of the White River Partnership and a seasoned river cleanup leader says: “The WRP organizes cleanup events at White River access sites as a way to make the river cleaner and safer for recreational use. Each fall, dozens of volunteers remove hundreds of pounds of trash from the river, from drink containers to tires to everything in between.”

Vermonters can participate in River Cleanup Month in a couple of ways. Contact your local watershed group to see if you can help with a river cleanup in your watershed, or organize your own cleanup with neighbors, club members, classmates, or co-workers. To register an existing cleanup or to access resources on running a successful river cleanup, check out WUV’s River Cleanup website (http://www.watershedsunitedvt.org/vtrivercleanup). 

WUV is collaborating on Vermont’s River Cleanup Month with two other organizations that have decades of combined river cleanup experience: Connecticut River Watershed Council’s Source to Sea program, which is running its 20th annual cleanup for the Connecticut River watershed, and American Rivers, which has run its National River Cleanup since 1991.

Watersheds United Vermont (WUV) is a state-wide network of local groups dedicated to improving the health of their home watersheds. WUV’s mission is to empower community-based watershed groups throughout the state to protect and restore Vermont’s waters. Please contact WUV at watershedsunited@gmail.com or 585-3569 for information or suggestions about Vermont River Cleanup Month. Make sure to tag any River Cleanup Month social media photos or posts with #vtrivercleanup.

WUV Spring Meeting

posted Mar 21, 2016, 5:52 AM by Lyn Munno   [ updated May 13, 2016, 9:10 AM ]


Watersheds United Vermont Spring Meeting was held on April 13, 2016 at the State Office Complex in Waterbury. Over 40 representatives of watershed groups, environmental non-profits, the State’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and federal agencies gathered at the State Office Complex in Waterbury to discuss solutions and partnerships for protecting Vermont’s waters.
 
Keynote speaker Mike Kline, head of DEC’s
River Management Program, began the day with a discussion of the historic challenges of protecting our water commons and the need to manage our rivers “to their least erosive conditions” for safety and wildlife habitat. These words were especially poignant as listeners could see to our west the tree-lined banks of the Winooski, whose waters had so severely flooded the building we sat in during Tropical Storm Irene. “Post-Irene, we have had an opportunity to talk about how watersheds work,” said Kline, “We know now that we should not take actions that will set off a negative reaction chain downstream.” 

The morning sessions focused on capacity-building for watershed groups, including a how-to discussion by Steve Libby of the
Vermont River Conservancy and Mary Russ of the White River Partnership about river corridor easements, and a session on individual donor cultivation for fundraising led by Breck Knauft and Naomi Galimidi of VYCC.  The afternoon started with a panel about Act 64 from Marli Rupe (DEC), Rebekah Weber (CLF) and Michael Storace, Two River Ottauquechee Regional Planning Commission. DEC Watershed Management Division staff (Neil Kamman, Ethan Swift, Emily Bird and Marli Rupe) held sessions on water quality standards, stage gate implementation and tracking and changes in funding through DEC’s Ecosystem Restoration Program. Some of the presentations are posted on the WUV website.
 
Overall, the Watersheds United Vermont's Spring Meeting was a chance to celebrate past accomplishments and plan how to continue working together to protect our waterways. Michael Storace
said that: “I thought the meeting went really well. It was an opportunity to meet folks doing great watershed work all over Vermont.”

BRAT Stormwater Expo

posted Mar 13, 2016, 7:07 AM by Lyn Munno   [ updated Mar 13, 2016, 7:11 AM ]

Saturday, April 16 from 9:00am to Noon

The Black River Action Team is hosting a storm water expo. Tools and Techniques, programs and partnerships for public and private landowners. Expo would be good for:

  • Private Landowners
  • Developers
  • Landscapers
  • Environmental Engineers
  • Town Road Crews
  • Selectboard Members
  • Business Owners
  • Contractors

Where: Health Care and Rehabilitation Services, 390 Route 106 (River Street) Springfield, VT.

For more information and to register, contact BRAT Director, Kelly Stettner, at blackrivercleanup@yahoo.com or (802) 738-0456.



Why Protect River Corridors?

posted Feb 21, 2016, 6:48 PM by Lyn Munno

Mike Kline, Rivers Program Manager, DEC Watershed Management Division, has written a short talking points piece titled "Why Protect River Corridors from the public safety and property protection point of view?"


Batten Kill, Walloomsac, Hoosic Tactical Basin Plan

posted Feb 2, 2016, 12:12 PM by Lyn Munno

In January, 2016 The Vermont DEC released the Batten Kill Walloomsac Hoosic Tactical Basin Plan. For more information, contact Watershed Coordinator Ethan Swift, ethan.swift@vermont.gov, (802) 490-6141.

The Vermont portion of the three rivers which comprise this river basin have the unique distinction of being the only watersheds within Vermont that are part of the larger Hudson River regional basin. The Batten Kill, Walloomsac River and Hoosic River and their associated tributaries have their origins in the southwest corner of Vermont and collectively comprise what is referred to as Basin 1.  The watershed area of the Batten Kill in Vermont is about 200 square miles.  The Walloomsac River in Vermont drains a watershed of about 139 square miles and eventually flows into the Hoosic River in New York.  The watershed area of the Hoosic River in Vermont is about 89 square miles.  The Taconic Mountains, Vermont Valley and Southern Green Mountains make up the three biophysical regions that play an integral part in the dynamic nature of the 428 square mile Basin 1. 

The Tactical Basin Planning process for the Hudson River Basin commenced in 2014 to identify water resource concerns as well as water quality improvement recommendations for the Batten Kill, Walloomsac River and Hoosic River and their associated tributaries in the southwest corner of Vermont.  The goal of this tactical basin planning process is to produce the Hudson River Tactical Basin Plan that identifies high priority actions for the protection and restoration of surface waters in this Basin.

Draft Tactical Basin Plan for Basin 11 - 13

posted Feb 2, 2016, 12:06 PM by Lyn Munno   [ updated Feb 2, 2016, 12:09 PM ]

Final Tactical Basin Plan for the West, Williams, Saxtons River and lower Connecticut River and Tributaries.

On January 7, 2016, the DEC released a new draft tactical plan for use by Agencies and partner organizations to protect, maintain, enhance and restore surface waters. For additional information on how to use the plan to assist in these activities, you can contact: Marie Levesque Caduto, Watershed Coordinator, 802.885.8958, Marie.Caduto@vermont.gov

Click here for a link to the plan.

From the headwaters off of South Mountain in Mount Holly, and framed by Bromley, Stratton, and Hogback Mountains on the west and the Connecticut River on the east, Basin 11-13 runs from the crest of the southern Green Mountains almost to the Massachusetts line, dropping over 3700’ in elevation from the high point in Stratton to its outlet in Brattleboro. Twenty-nine towns, in full or in part, make up the Basin.

The largest of the major watersheds in the Basin is the West River draining 423 square miles from Weston to Brattleboro. Its tributaries include the Rock and Winhall Rivers and Wardsboro and Ball Mountain Brooks. The Williams River running from the hills of Andover down to Herrick’s Cover in Rockingham drains 117 square miles and the Saxtons River covers 78 squares miles from Windham to Westminster.

The approximately 26 miles of the Connecticut River mainstem covered in this basin include Rockingham/Bellows Falls to Brattleboro. The largest brooks feeding directly into the Connecticut River are East Putney and Sacketts Brooks both of which are in Westminster and Putney.

New Conservation District Program Supports Small Farm Clean Water Efforts

posted Jan 6, 2016, 8:25 AM by Lyn Munno

Through a $800,000 grant awarded by the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to the Vermont Association of Conservation Districts (VACD) based in Waitsfield, Vermont’s Natural Resources Conservation Districts are expanding a program that supports small farmers in their efforts to protect water quality while improving their bottom line. The new program, called the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, will support 145 livestock farm operators state-wide to develop Nutrient Management Plans through participation in the “Digging In” course offered by University of Vermont Extension. A Nutrient Management Plan defines the exact quantity of manure and other nutrients to be spread on each field of the farm in order to grow the crops needed to feed livestock. The plan takes into consideration soil type and chemical composition, the steepness of the field and potential erosion, crops grown on the field, and the nutritional needs of the animals. By combining scientific data with the farmer’s knowledge of their land and production goals, the correct amount of nutrients will be used, thus saving the farmer money and avoiding excess runoff
into Vermont’s waterways.

Excess phosphorus, a nutrient commonly needed in agricultural production, is the main cause of Lake Champlain’s toxic algae blooms. While significant phosphorus runoff also comes from roads, forests, streambanks and sewage treatment plants, Vermont’s agricultural community will play a large role in cleaning up the lake and protecting other rivers, streams and lakes around the state. As a result of Vermont’s new Clean Water Act passed by the Legislature last year, all farms will be required to develop a Nutrient Management Plan in the future. In the past, only medium and large farms - a small proportion of the farms in Vermont - have been required to have this plan. The expanded Conservation District program will enable small farm operators to meet this requirement, as well as make simple, cost-effective changes to their operations to protect water quality and gain access to additional educational, technical and financial support to carry out further conservation projects on their farm.

Vermont’s Natural Resources Conservation Districts were created after the Dust Bowl era of the 1930’s to help farmers protect soil and water quality. There are 3,000 Districts throughout the US and 14 in Vermont. In recent decades Vermont’s Conservation Districts have expanded their programs beyond agriculture to forestry, watershed stewardship, stormwater mitigation and education. Districts protect and enhance soil, water, forest and wildlife habitat resources by working with landowners and communities to provide information and technical support, and carry out projects. VACD is the membership association of Vermont’s Conservation Districts. The association provides support to its members and manages state-wide technical programs.

From Vermont Association of Conservation Districts Press Release. Contact: Jill Arace (802) 496-5162, jill.arace@vacd.org.

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