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Vermont River Corridors Base Map Released

posted Nov 25, 2014, 10:28 AM by Lyn Munno   [ updated Nov 28, 2014, 6:44 AM ]
From Vermont Agency of Natural Resources:
ANR has posted on-line a Base Map of river corridors (displays in Flood Ready Vermont Atlas - turn layer on in legend).

River Corridors

What they are: A river corridor is delineated to provide for the least erosive form toward which a river will evolve during floods over time. River corridor maps guide State actions to protect, restore, and maintain naturally stable meanders and riparian areas to minimize erosion hazards. Land within and immediately abutting a river corridor may be at higher risk to fluvial erosion during floods.

What they are not: River Corridor Maps do not indicate any required action on the part of municipalities. They are developed to facilitate ANR’s responsibilities in Act 250 to protect public safety from fluvial erosion hazards and to regulate activities exempt from municipal regulation under the Flood Hazard Area and River Corridor Rules. The Legislature has directed the ANR to promote municipal river corridor protection, but towns are not required, nor does the state have the authority to require the use of these maps by local communities. Landowners are not required to get flood insurance within Mapped River Corridors.

In the coming weeks the DEC will be publishing the Flood Hazard Area and River Corridor Protection Procedure and a Public Responsiveness Summary to answers the comments and questions received over the past couple months.

In the Procedure we formally introduced the science of river meander belts used by the ANR over the past decade (subject to several peer reviews) to delineate river corridor and FEH areas. Having seen no issues that would change the science foundation used in Vermont to map river corridors, we are now releasing the River Corridor Base Map.

An enormous effort went into the creation of this Base Map, but in many respects, the work has just begun to create a Statewide River Corridor Layer which could become a repository of hazard mitigation data in support of resiliency planning. The Rivers Program looks forward to working with all of you, sister agencies, and municipalities to conduct the planning and mapping that will turn the Base Map (which is a GIS modelling exercise) into a truly robust flood resiliency planning tool that incorporates our field data and the administrative revisions that recognize designated centers and other aspects of the built environment.

Over time, this newly posted map will serve as a place to compile data from the hundreds of separate river corridor and fluvial erosion hazard mapping exercises that have been conducted by our local and regional partners since 2004. The Base Map is a computer modelling product that will eventually incorporate both existing and new field-based stream geomorphic data (e.g., it does not yet reflect all those places where bedrock confines the stream channel).

Directions for reviewing and suggesting updates to computer-generated map. After 30 days, the up-dated map will be posted to the ANR Natural Resources Atlas.

Questions: Contact Morgaine Bell, Rivers Program Administrative Assistant
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