Local group cleans up Clyde River

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NEWPORT — Memphremagog Watershed Association and the NorthWoods Stewardship Center conducted a river cleanup of the Clyde River, upstream of Salem Lake, on Saturday.

Nine volunteers and five staff and board members from MWA and Northwoods paddled a beautiful section of the Clyde and learned about riparian zones and streambank best management practices with MWA’s watershed project manager while collecting debris.

They collected 24 tires, over 20 yards of plastic tubing, plastic bags, beer cans, an old tea kettle and pan, a kitty litter box, grain bags, lawn chairs, and foam insulation.

“MWA is dedicated to protecting the rivers of the Memphremagog Watershed because a healthy community starts with healthy rivers. Clean and healthy rivers provide everything from clean drinking water to recreation opportunities to fish and wildlife habitat,” said Patrick Hurley, MWA Watershed Project Manager.

Upcoming events:

On Thursday, August 25, MWA will be hosting its Annual Meeting, with a presentation about the Lake Wise program.

The event will be at the Gateway Center in Newport from 5:30-7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Meet the MWA staff and board members, learn about the important conservation work MWA is doing, and enjoy refreshments.

At 6:00 p.m. Alison Marchione, the Lake Shoreland Coordinator for the Vermont Dept. of Environmental Conservation, will present about Lake Wise.

This program works to improve water quality by promoting lake-friendly landscaping and living practices on shoreland properties.

Lake Wise incentivizes property owners to make modifications to their property that are known to protect individual lakes and the health of the greater watershed.

Lake Wise seeks to inform landowners that common lakeshore development practices, such as vegetation clearing, riprap, sea walls, and extensive mowed lawns, can lead to degraded conditions for aquatic habitat and negatively impact water quality.

Moreover, these common practices can result in drastic losses of land and property to the detriment of the landowner.

On August 24 and 31, MWA volunteers and Columbia Forest Products staff will be working together to cut down invasive Phragmites at Prouty Beach.

If you are interested in helping, stop by anytime between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Bring water shoes or boots and clippers.

Phragmites, also known as the common reed, replace native grasses, sedges, and herbaceous plants.

The plant provides poor quality habitat for insects, birds, and amphibians.

Fish populations that reproduce in wetlands and marshes inundated with phragmites suffer higher egg and juvenile mortality.

The plant also exudes allelopathic compounds from its roots, causing root death of nearby native plants.

MWA has been working on Phragmite management, along with partners like Columbia Forest Products and the Vermont Land Trust at Bluffside Farm, for many years in various locations along the shoreline in Newport and throughout the watershed.

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