Partners collaborate on Northern Lake Champlain water quality efforts

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Partners collaborate on Northern Lake Champlain water quality efforts

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 11:26am -- tim

Northern Lake Champlain photo by LCBP.

Vermont Business Magazine The Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC), the Northwest Regional Planning Commission (NRPC), the Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District (WNRCD) and the Franklin County Conservation District (FCCD) have expanded outreach and services to landowners, municipalities and the public in support of the Vermont Clean Water Act (VCWA) and improved tactical basin planning efforts for Basin 5, the Northern Lake Champlain Direct Drainages.  The work is provided through two grants provided by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. Activities began in late 2018 and will extend through the fall of 2019.

The CCRPC and the NRPC will work with their member municipalities on programs such as improved zoning bylaws and stormwater master plans to improve water quality and incorporating municipal priorities into the Northern Lake Champlain Direct Drainages Tactical Basin Plan.  Other activities that both planning commissions will do as part of this project include general municipal outreach for Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation water quality policies and permit programs, Northern Lake Champlain Direct Drainages Tactical Basin Plan development and development of municipal water quality improvement projects.

The WNRCD and the FCCD will conduct targeted outreach, coordinate monitoring programs to support science-based water quality investments, organize local workgroups, and develop priority water quality projects among other services.  As part of this body of work, Conservation Districts and Regional Planning Commissions will be closely coordinating activities to provide complementary support for the State’s Tactical Basin Planning process. 

Tactical Basin Plans help identify and focus efforts needed to protect or restore specific watersheds through the state.  The partners will be focused primarily on the Northern Lake Champlain Direct Drainages Tactical Basin Plan this year, working to identify priorities, document progress, and conduct outreach necessary to develop priority projects and garner greater local support and awareness of the Basin Plan’s goals.  Local identified water quality priorities in Tactical Basin Plans are well positioned for development and funding via the State’s Clean Water Initiative.  Basin Plans help provide the umbrella for other various planning initiatives, including Stormwater Master Plans and River Corridor Plans, and ultimately provide a vehicle to strategically address regional water quality priorities such as the Lake Champlain Total Maximum Daily Load.

The CCRPC provides planning and technical assistance in the areas of community development, transportation, agriculture, natural resources, housing, economic development, telecommunications and emergency management to the 19 municipalities of Chittenden County and to the public, while remaining consistent with federal and state requirements. The collaboration between the CCRPC, Chittenden County municipalities and other related resources agencies results in the development and implementation of plans that support sustainable development and improve the region’s environment and quality of life. For more information about the CCRPC, please visit www.ccrpcvt.org.

The NRPC has been providing municipalities in the Franklin and Grand Isle Counties with planning services that address land use, transportation, environmental, emergency, and economic planning since 1966. NRPC’s mission identifies several key areas of regional service: to assist local municipalities, through education, technical assistance, grants and funding; to aid municipalities in their planning efforts as authorized by Vermont planning laws; to serve as a center of information and as a resource to support the region and its municipalities' interests, growth patterns and common goals; and to provide a forum for the discussion of issues which are regional in nature and/or unique to our area of the state. For more information about the NRPC, please visit www.nrpcvt.com.

The Winooski NRCD is one of 14 conservation districts throughout Vermont. It encompasses all of Chittenden and Washington County as well as parts of Orange County (Orange, Williamstown and Washington). The district relies on grants and individual donations to complete its conservation work. The WNRCD focuses its resources on completing conservation projects based in solid science to provide solutions within the areas of agricultural assistance, forestland enhancement, urban conservation and watershed stewardship. For more information on the Winooski NRCD please visit www.winooskinrcd.org.

The Franklin County Natural Resources Conservation District is one of 14 conservation districts throughout Vermont. The District’s mission is to promote land use that supports human livelihoods and sustains ecosystems in Franklin County, VT. The Conservation District empowers and convenes landowners and land-users to prioritize and address natural resource concerns and recognizes water quality and the continuance of our land-based economy as key concerns for Franklin County today. For information on the Franklin County Conservation District please visit www.franklincountynrcd.org.

Source: Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission. January 10, 2019