Clean water efforts moving forward and agricultural efforts providing quantifiable phosphorus reductions
Vermont Business Magazine The State of Vermont committed to track clean water efforts in the Lake Carmi watershed and report on investments and results annually as part of the Lake Carmi Crisis Response Plan. The Lake Carmi Clean Water Progress Report details clean water projects and investments from State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2016 to 2019.
State and federal watershed investments reduced an estimated 251 kilograms (kg) of phosphorus loading in SFY 2019, which is estimated to be approximately 41% of the phosphorus reduction required to meet the Lake Carmi Phosphorus Total Maximum Daily Load. Nearly all of the quantifiable phosphorus reductions in the Lake Carmi watershed have been associated with the agricultural sector.
In addition to contributions by the Town of Franklin, private landowners, farmers, and other partners, the state has invested over $1.4 million dollars in clean water projects within Lake Carmi and its watershed from state fiscal SFY 2016 to SFY 2019. 28% of all funding from SFY 2016 to 2019 has been invested in reducing pollution from the Lake Carmi watershed, which includes the implementation of agricultural, wastewater, and road pollution reduction projects. 72% of investments have supported the design and implementation of an in-lake aeration system to mitigate internal phosphorus loading from bottom sediments.
Agricultural clean water efforts in Lake Carmi include the following:
- 153 acres of agricultural lands have been treated by state-funded equipment and conservation practices
- 11 acres of barnyard and production area were determined to be compliant with Required Agricultural Practices by AAFM inspectors in the Lake Carmi watershed
- Multiple barnyard and production area management practices, including waste transfer and facility closure, were also installed to contain agricultural waste within production areas
- Based on data gathered by UVM Extension and the results of state and federal financial assistance programs, 75% of the annual cropland within Lake Carmi was cover cropped in 2018
- UVM Extension has acquired and developed a system in collaboration with Lake Carmi farmers for Grassland Shallow Slot Manure Injection, a piece of equipment available for farms to use in the Lake Carmi watershed with funding through the Agricultural Clean Water Initiative Program
The phosphorus load reductions estimated to date were the result of many collaborative efforts and the strong engagement of Lake Carmi stakeholders and farmers, and continued community engagement in clean water efforts is necessary to achieve Lake Carmi’s clean water goals. This commitment can be found in the Lake Carmi community. Critical investments and new practices from farmers are improving the environment around this Franklin County lake. Take a tour with this brief video here.
The complete Lake Carmi Clean Water Progress Report is available online. Continued state efforts to restore Lake Carmi including resources and reports, monitoring data, and watershed planning resources are also available on the ANR DEC website. You can learn more about cyanobacteria in Vermont and explore the Cyanobacteria Tracking Map on the Vermont Department of Health Website. Educational resources including animations and videos to learn why phosphorus is a problem and what efforts are occurring is available on the Lake Champlain Basin Program website.
Source: August 10, 2020 | Montpelier, VT – VT Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets