Ask a Watershed Management Division Basin Planner what makes any one of Vermont’s 15 river basins special and you will hear responses as varied and interesting as the basins themselves: The White is the longest undammed tributary to the Connecticut River. The Winooski has at least nine community-led groups involved in watershed activities. The cold-water streams of the Passumpsic support some of the best brook trout habitat in the state.
All of this information is available online in each river’s respective Tactical Basin Plan. These in-depth, technical plans are great for readers who desire to understand the full scope of the agency’s work to protect and restore surface waters. A new story map format, however, provides a higher-level view, making it possible to learn about a basin during your next coffee break.
The ArcGIS Story Map is an interactive, web-based tool and an easy gateway to Vermont’s major rivers and their watersheds. Story maps allow you to scroll through pictures with concise explanations as well as interactive maps. Story maps also provide a glossy, magazine-type experience, with the opportunity to “drill down” to more detailed information through the selection of embedded content or access to additional websites.
Please take a moment to explore the first four story maps online: the Otter Creek, Passumpsic, White, and Winooski Basins, with more to come in the near future. We hope you’ll discover answers to questions such as: Where are the high-quality waters? Which waters are degraded and why? What activities may be harming water quality? Where do people swim, boat, and fish in the basin? Also, learn about projects to protect or restore surface waters. It’s all in the story map! Enjoy and please tell us what you think.