Public invited to discuss Watershed Action Plan for Lake Memphremagog basin

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NEWPORT — State and regional planners in Vermont will host another meeting this month about the state’s Draft Tactical Basin Plan.

Developed for Basin 17, which encompasses Lake Memphremagog, Tomifobia, and Coaticook Basin, the Plan aims to protect and restore the area’s aquatic ecosystems.

The draft covers the northeastern Vermont waters from Craftsbury to Newport and Averill. It includes major rivers such as the Black River, Barton River, Clyde River, Tomifobia River, and Coaticook River, along with several smaller streams flowing into Lake Memphremagog.

The Tactical Basin Plan identifies water quality concerns across the Lake Memphremagog watershed and strategies to restore the lakes and rivers that are vital to this state region.

The meeting is scheduled for May 23, at 6:30 p.m., hosted by the Memphremagog Watershed Association at the Gateway Center in Newport.

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This meeting will follow an earlier one held on May 18 by the Orleans Natural Resources Conservation District.

Both sessions can be attended in-person or via Microsoft Teams.

The public comment period for the Draft Tactical Basin Plan began on May 10 and will run through June 10. Comments can be submitted at the public meetings or sent via email or regular mail to Ben Copans at the DEC.

The Plan details cost-effective projects and priority strategies to improve or protect rivers, lakes, and wetlands. Some of these projects include floodplain restoration, lakeshore restoration, agricultural best management practices, and stormwater projects.

Sarah Damsell, District Manager with the Orleans County Natural Resources Conservation District, highlighted the significance of the Plan.

“The plan is an important guide to coordinate and focus water quality restoration efforts across lakes, streams, forests, developed lands, and the agricultural landscape,” she explained.

Tom Latta, President of the Memphremagog Watershed Association, encouraged local residents to participate in the public meetings to better understand water quality challenges and provide feedback.

Additional information about the Draft Tactical Basin Plan, the dates and locations of the public meetings, and an interactive StoryMap can be found on the Basin 17 web page.

Paper copies of the Plan are available upon request.

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