MONTPELIER – The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) invites Vermonters to attend three online presentations in July to review a collaborative watershed action plan for the Northern Lake Champlain Direct Drainages. The plan encompasses a portion of the Lake Champlain watershed that stretches from Ferrisburgh to Swanton, including the Lake Champlain Islands, as well as Shelburne, Burlington, Malletts and St. Albans Bays.
Developed in partnership with members of local communities, state and federal agencies, watershed groups, regional planners, and agricultural partners, the basin plan covers four key areas:
- Current water quality issues.
- Strategies to protect and improve local waterways.
- Tactics to prevent and reduce phosphorus pollution from entering Lake. Champlain.
- Funding and technical assistance for projects, such as tree planting along shorelines, that contribute to restoration of local waterways.
“While the state is responsible for developing basin plans to restore and protect surface waters, the participation of Vermonters in developing and activating the plan is key to the plan’s success,” said Karen Bates, Watershed Planner with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.
Throughout July, Vermonters will have three opportunities to participate in public meetings to learn more about the basin plan and provide their feedback:
- July 15, 2020: The Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission will meet online starting at 6 p.m. The agenda and meeting link can be viewed here: https://www.ccrpcvt.org/about-us/commission/agendas-minutes/.
- July 20, 2020: DEC will host a virtual public forum to gather feedback on the plan in partnership with the Chittenden County and Northwest Regional Planning Commissions. The event is scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., with the presentation beginning at 5:45 p.m. A link to the online public meeting, the Draft 2020 Basin 5 TBP, and an interactive Story Map providing a summary of the plan is available on the Basin 5 Tactical Planning website at: https://dec.vermont.gov/water-investment/watershed-planning/tactical-basin-planning/basin5. A recording will be available on the website the following day.
- July 29, 2020: The Northwest Regional Planning Commission will meet online starting at 7 p.m. The agenda and meeting link can be viewed here: https://www.nrpcvt.com/board-of-commissioners
The public can also provide comments on the plan. Public comments on the draft can be submitted by email: email@example.com or by mail to Karen Bates, Basin 5 Comments, 111 West Street, Essex Junction, Vermont 05452. Comments postmarked or submitted via email by 4:30 p.m on August 7, 2020, will be addressed in a responsiveness summary. Requests for a hard copy of the plan should be directed to Karen Bates at the above email or mailing address.