Memphremagog Watershed Association receives over $100K for water quality projects

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NEWPORT — The Memphremagog Watershed Association (MWA) has been granted nearly $105,000 by the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board (VHCB) for enhancing water quality and fish habitats in several towns, including Derby, Newport, Holland, and Morgan.

This funding, sourced from the Water Quality Restoration Formula Grant program, is part of the Memphremagog Clean Water Service Provider (CWSP) initiative, a collaborative effort led by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and administered locally by VHCB. The CWSP model empowers local municipalities and conservation groups to develop projects aimed at reducing phosphorus and sediment in waterways. Additionally, these projects are evaluated for their potential to offer benefits like flood resilience, educational opportunities, recreational enhancements, and environmental justice.

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The grant will support four key projects in the Clyde River watershed, targeting nutrient pollution and harmful algae blooms in Lake Memphremagog. Two projects off Hinman Settler Road focus on enhancing woody riparian buffers and restoring streams and wetlands, with an investment of about $24,000. These efforts are expected to curb erosion, maintain cooler water temperatures, and improve fish habitats.

Another project near Clyde Pond, in collaboration with the Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO), aims to stabilize wetlands and gullies while improving snowmobile trails. This initiative, budgeted at approximately $8,000, is designed to reduce erosion and sediment loading in a Brook Trout and landlocked Atlantic Salmon habitat.

The fourth project, a continuation of the Valley Brook Restoration Project in Morgan, involves redesigning four culverts damaged in the July 2023 floods. With a budget of around $73,000, this project extends upstream and downstream of prior restoration work, focusing on flood flow management and aquatic organism passage.

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These projects are managed by the MWA in partnership with the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and the Orleans County Natural Resources Conservation District. The MWA, established in 2007, is committed to preserving the Memphremagog Watershed’s environment and natural beauty.

The Association extends its gratitude to VELCO, the involved private landowners, and the Towns of Morgan and Holland for their support in these vital environmental endeavors.

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