Waterways across Vermont will see improvements in 2014 thanks to Vermont’s Watershed Grant Program, which has awarded grant funds to fifteen watershed improvement projects totaling $100,000. The successful applicants each received individual grants ranging from $2,500 to $15,000.
The 2014 projects cover a range of water quality and aquatic habitat projects including these examples in three categories:
- · Restoration and clean up efforts in the White River drainage basin (White River Partnership),
- · Helping to remove a dam on the upper Wells River (CT River Watershed Council), and
- · Expanding the effectiveness of lake protection strategies (Federation of Vermont Lakes and Ponds).
- · River access project in Rochester and Pittsfield (VT River Conservancy),
- · Explain river dynamics using a flume (Ottauquechee NRCD), and
- · Milfoil spread prevention (Town of Charleston).
- · Pinney Hollow Brook floodplain / habitat restoration (Two Rivers Ottauquechee RPC), and
- · Planning for Water Street river park (Town of Northfield).
“Although these grants are relatively small, much is accomplished and the increased public awareness should pay benefits into the future. We’re glad to provide a funding option for what I like to think of as little grants with big results,” said Rod Wentworth of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.
The Vermont Watershed Grants fund was established by the legislature and is funded from half of the proceeds from sale of Vermont Conservation License Plates. The other half of the proceeds go to the Nongame and Natural Heritage Program. The Departments of Environmental Conservation and Fish & Wildlife co-administer the Watershed Grants program which has been underway since 1998 and has provided close to $1.4 million to fund 335 projects. No administrative costs are associated with the program and all the money is used for grant projects.