As ice melts across Vermont’s lakes and Red-winged Blackbirds return to our marshes, a group of partners interested in the health of Franklin’s Lake Carmi prepares to move into high gear. On March 17th, representatives from local and state organizations met together in a Franklin community room to plan activities focused on restoring and protecting Lake Carmi and surrounding waters.
The Lake Carmi TMDL Implementation Team, co-sponsored by the Franklin Watershed Committee and the Vermont Watershed Management Division, includes representatives from the Farmer’s Watershed Alliance, Friends of Northern Lake Champlain, Lake Carmi Campers Association, Northwest Regional Planning Commission, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets, Town of Franklin, and Toxics Action Center.
Since last October, the Team has been meeting monthly to consider how best to use resources made available by the Vermont Clean Water Act and other sources to meet the goals of Lake Carmi’s Phosphorus TMDL.
One focus* of the Team’s work is to identify high priority projects for funding through the Clean Water Initiative’s Ecosystem Restoration Grants. At the March 17th meeting, Basin planner Karen Bates presented a list of projects for consideration by the group—projects such as road improvements, erosion control, and wetland conservation. The Franklin Watershed Committee is taking the lead in writing a proposal for the current round (Round 1) of 2016 Ecosystem Restoration funding. The Team looks forward to proposing a block of projects for Round 2 in fall 2016 (State Fiscal Year 2017).
FNLC executive director Denise Smith reported progress toward finalizing a five-year action plan for using federal Farm Bill (USDA/RCPP) funding to support implementation of Best Management Practices on farms in the Pike River/Lake Carmi watershed. In collaboration with Jessica Draper, FWC Coordinator, Denise plans a meeting with local farmers to review measures needed to reduce phosphorus by 5,200 pounds per year by the end of the five-year plan.
With the summer season fast approaching, the Team began planning communications about many education and outreach events planned by member organizations. Look for FWC’s table at the Vermont Maple Festival April 22nd – 24th in St. Albans; and watch for news of summer events like the second annual Septic Social co-coordinated by FWC and LCCA and a Watershed Day organized by FWC.
*The goals of the Lake Carmi TMDL Implementation Team are to:
- Guide project development and implementation for the Lake Carmi Phosphorus TMDL.
- Manage education and outreach efforts;
- Track progress toward meeting TMDL goals for Lake Carmi and provide input for TMDL progress reports;
- Serve as a conduit for information about the TMDL implementation process among local, regional, and state organizations.