NEWPORT — Since December of 2017, a group of local organizations, municipalities, and State agencies have been working together and recently completed a Stormwater Strategic Plan for the Memphremagog watershed.
This group, known as the Stormwater Collaborative, was initiated at the Leahy Summit at the Echo Center in Burlington and funded through a grant from the High Meadows Fund.
“Given the numerous sources of stormwater runoff and our large geographic area, establishing this collaborative is paramount to improving the quality of our waters, there is simply more work than anyone can do alone,” said Kendall Lambert, Administrative Director of the Memphremagog Watershed Association (MWA). “We are excited to have strengthened relationships with new and existing partners and look forward to implementing the projects outlined in the plan.”
The strategic plan will guide the stormwater work of the partners for the next three years.
The plan is divided into sections with priority projects and includes projects to reduce stormwater runoff from municipal roads, from private land and even largescale engineering projects.
“Stormwater runoff from roads, roofs, lawns, driveways, and barnyard areas contributes over 25 percent of the phosphorus loading to Lake Memphremagog and elevated levels of phosphorus in the lake have caused increased plant and algae growth that can limit the use of the Lake,” said Ben Copans, Basin Planner with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. “The breadth and diversity of stormwater sources requires the coordination of community partners and I have already seen the how this strategic planning effort has guided partners in working together to tackle a complex water quality issue that cut across many disciplines”
The plan can be found online at www.mwavt.org along with project updates.