State asks Vermonters for feedback on watershed action plan

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State asks Vermonters for feedback on watershed action plan

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 5:58am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermonters are invited to attend an online presentation on June 2, 2020 to review a collaborative watershed action plan. The plan encompasses 580 square miles, stretching from Peacham to Hartford, and includes 20 towns across 3 counties. It was developed in partnership with members of local communities, state scientists, watershed groups, regional planners, and agricultural partners. The public is also invited to provide comments on the plan.

The 2020 Basin 14 Tactical Basin Plan (TBP) includes the Stevens, Wells, Waits and Ompompanoosuc Rivers, Peacham bog, Lake Groton, Harveys Lake, and Lake Morey, home to the nation’s longest outdoor ice-skating track.

“While the state is responsible for developing basin plans to restore and protect these and other treasured waters, the people of Vermont are key players in activating the basin plan,” said Danielle Owczarski, Watershed Planner with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.

The plan provides an assessment of the health of the basin and identifies 56 water quality strategies related to agriculture, developed lands, wastewater, and natural resources – forests, lakes, rivers, and wetlands. The plan also includes information about how landowners, watershed organizations, and communities can access funding and technical assistance to help protect and restore water resources.

“Tactical Basin Plans are the backbone of the Conservation District’s work in addressing water quality,” said Kerry O’Brien, District Manager of Caledonia County Natural Resources Conservation District (CCNRCD). “They provide a forum for collaboration and communication among partners, a clearinghouse for information and watershed data, and an effective system to identify and prioritize water quality projects and track progress.”

On June 2, 2020, the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Basin 14 Watershed Planner will host a virtual meeting to gather feedback on the plan in partnership with the Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Planning Commission, Northeast Vermont Development Association, Central Vermont Planning Commission, CCNRCD, and the White River Natural Resources Conservation District.

The public is encouraged to attend the meeting to hear a presentation and offer comments and suggestions. The meeting will go live on June 2 from 5:30PM to 7:15PM, and the presentation will begin promptly at 5:45PM. A link to the online public meeting, the Draft 2020 Basin 14 TBP, and an interactive Story Map providing a summary of the plan is available on the Basin 14 Tactical Planning website at: https://bit.ly/2xQ4nsm.

If people are unable to attend the live online meeting, a recording will be available on the website the following day.

The plan will be available for public comment on May 18, 2020 through June 19, 2020. A paper copy can be requested from Danielle Owczarski by email or phone: Danielle.Owczarski@vermont.gov (802) 490-6176. Comments should be directed by email: anr.basin14comments@vermont.gov or by mail to Danielle Owczarski, Basin 14 Comments, 1 National Life Drive, Davis 3, Montpelier, VT 05602. Comments should be postmarked or submitted via email by 4:30PM on June 19, 2020. Comments received by this date will be addressed in a responsiveness summary.

Source: MONTPELIER – Agency of Natural Resources 5.19.2020