State Natural Resources Conservation Council
An Agency of Vermont State Government, Serving Vermont’s 14 Conservation Districts
August 15, 2019
For Immediate Release
Holden Sparacino, Water Quality Programs Manager, Vermont Association of Conservation Districts
Kerry O’Brien, Administrator, State Natural Resources Conservation Council
Statewide Development of Water Quality Projects Expands
Through a grant provided by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, the State Natural Resources Council (NRCC), Vermont Association of Conservation Districts (VACD), and Conservation Districts across the state will be providing broader services to landowners and the public to develop clean water projects. This work focuses on projects identified through River Corridor Plans, Stormwater Master Plans, and Tactical Basin Plans. This work serves the dual purpose of protecting the State’s water quality and supporting the mission of Conservation Districts and provide a vehicle to strategically address regional water quality priorities.
The $55,460 grant provides support for Conservation Districts to develop water quality projects, including identifying potential water quality benefits, connecting with landowners, and identifying permitting needs for those projects. Ultimately, the collective state-wide NRCDs will develop at least 42 water quality projects for future design and implementation. Activities began this month and will extend through the summer of 2020.
A clear need has been identified to develop projects from existing Stormwater Master Plans, River Corridor Plans or targeted subwatersheds identified in Tactical Basin Plans. Often when these plans are developed, a select few immediately feasible projects are prepared for implementation, however many potential projects remain in the plans without landowners identified, support secured, scopes of work developed, costs estimated, benefits assessed, or permitting needs identified. These project development activities are critical to readying priority water quality projects for implementation and honoring the previous financial investments made to identify these opportunities.
As part of the State’s Clean Water Initiative Program, this funding will be used to enable project development activities across the state of Vermont in the Lake Champlain, Lake Memphremagog, Connecticut River and Hoosic River watersheds. Conservation Districts will continue to work with their Basin Planners and other partners to assess specific project development goals.
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The State Natural Resources Conservation Council (NRCC) is a State Agency serving Vermont’s 14 Natural Resources Conservation Districts. NRCC’s mission is to advance conservation and water quality efforts in Vermont by providing strategic guidance and operational support to Conservation Districts, contributing a local perspective on state conservation policies, and facilitating the sharing of information among members and partners.
Conservation Districts were created throughout the United States after the Dust Bowl era of the 1930’s and 40’s to help landowners and communities enhance soil health, protect water quality, and support the viability of the working landscape. Vermont’s Conservation Districts promote clean water through education and agriculture, forestry, watershed protection, and urban conservation programs. The Vermont Association of Conservation Districts (VACD) is the state-wide association of Vermont’s 14 Natural Resources Conservation Districts. For more information on the Vermont Association of Conservation Districts please visit VACD.org
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