The Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission (TRORC) completed a Stormwater Management Plan in late February for the Ayers Brook, a tributary of the White River, whose watershed primarily covers parts of the Towns of Randolph, Braintree, and Brookfield. Ayers Brook has been historically classified as impaired due to high levels of streambank erosion, loss of riparian buffer along streambanks, and habitat alteration in the watershed.
This new plan characterizes land uses affecting water quality in Ayers Brook, and identifies potential projects that have contributed to erosion problems and are a priority for remediation. Specific projects identified in the Plan include larger culverts, and conservation and restoration efforts to increase flood storage capacity in riparian areas surrounding Ayers Brook.
This Stormwater Management Plan marks one of the first of its kind to be completed in in the region. Although stormwater is often only considered a problem in urban environments, stormwater planning is as crucial in rural towns and watersheds as it is in more developed ones.
Stormwater management also plays an important role in public safety, flood resilience, and hazard mitigation. By identifying areas of concern and priority projects for improvement, the plan will reduce the risk to health and property that occur as a result of flood hazards.
This Stormwater Management Plan coincides with new legislation in Vermont that aims to address the quality of surface waters across the state. The forthcoming Municipal Roads General Permit (MRGP), which will apply to all roads in the state, requires towns to identify and address areas where roads and drainage systems impact water quality, such as undersized culverts, eroding road edges, and places where ditches empty into brooks. Many of the projects outlined in this Plan will also need to be addressed by towns under this new permit.
This Ayers Brook Stormwater Management Plan was funded as a Supplemental Environmental Project by the Town of Randolph. It can be accessed at www.trorc.org. If you would like to find out more information about the project, please call Michael Storace at 802-457-3188 or contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.