Every two years, Vermont produces a water quality assessment for EPA documenting statewide conditions of the state’s rivers and streams, lakes and ponds, wetlands, and groundwater. In between these biennial reports, there are a number of water quality and aquatic habitat reports issued which focus on specific watersheds. The Division just reorganized this content on the Division website to make it easier to find these reports.
The biennial 2014 Water Quality Integrated Assessment Report (also known in some circles as the “305(b)” report, referring to the section of the Clean Water Act that requires this report) includes a wealth of water quality summary information that isn’t necessarily available anyplace else. There is up-to-date information on a host of water issues including air-borne pollution of waters, stream dam removal progress, invasive exotic plants and animals in surface waters, and lakeshore development issues. Public health issues, such as cyanobacteria in Lake Champlain and other lakes, beach closures due to E. coli levels above standards, and mercury in fish are also addressed.
In this report you will learn what pollutants cause the most miles or acres of impairment or stress to our streams and ponds. You can learn what wetland assessment and protection has been happening, and you can find out what type of land use activities impact surface waters, and much, much more!
The specific watershed assessment reports include water quality and aquatic community health information for specific rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds in each watershed, but also document special values and features, and specific pollution problems. Reports are available for all of the major planning basins. See the Assessment portion of the Watershed Management Division’s Monitoring, Assessment and Planning Program’s website at: http://www.watershedmanagement.vt.gov/mapp/htm/mp_assessment.htm.