Water Quality Blueprint tool launched for Lake Champlain

MONTPELIER — The Nature Conservancy in Vermont has announced the launch of its Water Quality Blueprint tool for clean water in Lake Champlain. The result of a sixteen-month project, funded by Keurig Green Mountain, the blueprint uses nearly 100 data sets compiled so as to create a unique analysis that identifies good places to invest in nature for clean water progress in Lake Champlain.
The Water Quality Blueprint prioritizes restoration and protection of wetlands, floodplain forests and river corridors. Restoring these natural landscapes filters out pollution from agricultural and stormwater runoff and helps to minimize the impacts from erosion at a fraction of the cost of grey infrastructure such as wastewater treatment plants.This dynamic, web-based map will allow municipalities, watershed managers, conservation practitioners, property owners and state agencies focus on natural infrastructure investments that provide the most benefit to water quality in the Lake Champlain Basin.
See the map online by going to this link: tinyurl.com/znkg9s5.
“The Water Quality Blueprint is practical, accessible science that helps us use investments in nature to address our 21st century environmental problems,” said Heather Furman, state director for The Nature Conservancy in Vermont. “Whether it is our wetlands that capture run-off and clean our water, our floodplain forests that buffer us from ravaging floods, or our intact forests that store carbon and mitigate climate change, nature based solutions offer innovative and cost effective solutions with multiple benefits.”
Strengthening natural infrastructure to combat Vermont’s water quality issues, is a win-win, the Nature Conservancy said. Investments in priority areas as identified in the Water Quality Blueprint web map, will also improve and protect wildlife and fish habitat, improve flood and climate resiliency, and increase recreational opportunities.
An advisory committee consisting of staff from the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, Keurig Green Mountain, LimnoTech, Lintilhac Foundation, Milone and MacBroom, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife and Vermont Land Trust, provided critical guidance and review during the Water Quality Blueprint’s development.More information on the Water Quality Blueprint and links to the map, as well as an infographic can be found atnature.org/vtcleanwater.

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