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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.”