Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission Conducts Outreach on Surface Water Management Strategies!

Through funding from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, the Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission (CVRPC) conducted outreach to communities in Central Vermont interested in pursuing efforts to reclassify surface waters to a higher level of protection.  CVRPC met with Conservation Commissions in Middlesex, Marshfield and Northfield to inform them on those surface waters within their municipalities that have the potential for reclassification under the revised Vermont Water Quality Standards.  As part of the Tactical Basin Planning efforts recently completed for the Winooski and White River Basins, many streams in the Central Vermont region have been identified as being of high quality for certain uses.  The CVRPC presented to these communities the locations of high quality waters, the classification scheme within the water quality standards, the values of the water resources, and the uses that they can continue to support through the reclassifications.  For instance, a stream section that meets the criteria for high quality for fishing, the stream can be reclassified to a higher level for that use.  These high quality streams have been identified through DEC’s biological monitoring and are therefore candidates for a reclassification that reflects their current condition.  Other water quality assessment work supports some streams as candidates for Outstanding Resource Water.  Reclassification is also suggested for those surface waters that are no longer used as public water supplies, which requires a certain designation as well under that standards.  The map below from Winooski Tactical Basin shows streams within the Winooski Basin that have the potential for reclassification to support good habitat for fish and aquatic biota.  There are also potential Outstanding Resource Waters, such as the upper reaches of the North Branch of the Winooski River due to its majestic waterfalls.

A map of the Winooski River Basin which highlights streams that have the potential for reclassification.

High quality waters of the Winooski River Basin