We organized an Ag Partner meeting this spring with farmers as well as some of the agencies that work with landowners to manage lands to preserve water quality: UVM Extension, the Vermont Dept. of Agriculture (VAAFM), and NRCS. Our goal was to report our water quality results – related to concentrations of phosphorus, nitrogen and E.coli in the rivers of Addison County – and to hear from our landowner partners about their priorities and ideas about how to improve certain problem stream reaches.
Our task over the next couple of years, with the help of our Otter Creek Tactical Basin Planner Angie Allen and the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition, is to create better tools to interpret our water quality data and to make sure we are communicating regularly with any landowners who collaborate with us or want information about the streams we monitor.
We are fund raising for one more year of e. coli testing in the Lewis Creek to document possible progress following farm implementation of conservation practices.