$67K grant to Lewis Creek Association will fund cleaning of Vermont waterways

CHARLOTTE — A grant awarded to a local group aims to protect and improve water quality by helping landowners make their properties more resilient in the face of floods.
Lewis Creek Association was awarded $67,254 from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Clean Water Initiative Program to launch the new Ahead of the Storm (AOTS) water quality stewardship program that highlights pollution prevention.
This watershed-based initiative includes representatives from state and county government, as well as municipal, school, church, library and conservation organizations.
State efforts to address the serious deterioration of our public waters have been in the headlines a lot lately. The purpose of Ahead of the Storm is to highlight adoption of pollution prevention lifestyles through the development and installation of more optimal stormwater management practices for a variety of properties including rural homesteads, farm lands, municipal sites, forests and roadways.
In response to an invitation sent out to the community, approximately 15 local property owners offered their locations as demonstration sites for showcasing more optimal stormwater management practices in the face of more frequent and extreme weather events. With the initial funding from the Vermont Clean Water Initiative, AOTS will assist these property owners in designing practices to address their unique land and water challenges. AOTS engineered designs will take into account the more extreme weather events occurring in Vermont. Signage marking the AOTS demonstration sites will be part of the local community education aspect of the project.
Lewis Creek Association is working with Milone and McBroom Inc. and the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to develop these more optimal stormwater practice designs. Once installed, these natural landscape improvements will slow overland flows and increase infiltration to reduce sediment and nutrient loading to area streams, reduce stream instability and improve the aquatic habitats of our local streams.
“These more optimal designs can serve as demonstration sites to showcase how to locate and design beautiful green infrastructure in both rural and village settings, and how to design and maintain road side drainage that reduces the impacts of stormwater runoff,” said Ethan Swift of the DEC.
Vermont Clean Water Initiative funds are made available to Vermont municipalities, local or regional governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, and citizens groups to reduce surface water pollution from phosphorus and sediment. Funded projects typically involve efforts to improve stream stability, protect against flood hazards, improve in-stream and riparian habitat, lessen the effects of stormwater runoff, protect and restore riparian wetlands, re-establish lake shoreline native vegetation, and enhance the environmental and economic sustainability of developed, forestry and agricultural lands.

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