December 11, 2012
2012 was another busy year for the WRP! Check out some highlights below:
Goal – Through long-term monitoring and assessments, we work to understand the watershed’s health, prioritize our resources, and gauge the effectiveness of our restoration efforts.
1. WRP staff and volunteers completed the 12th year of our water quality monitoring program, testing three parameters at 22 sites, every two weeks from June through September. Results were shared via email and our website.
2. The WRP is working with Redstart Forestry and the Vermont River Management Program to conduct a Phase 2 stream geomorphic assessment of the First Branch of the White River, from Washington downstream to Royalton, and seven major tributaries in the towns of Chelsea and Tunbridge to identify opportunities to improve water quality, habitat, and flood resiliency.
Goal – Through on-the-ground restoration projects, we work to improve water quality, fish & wildlife habitat, flood resiliency, and public recreational access.
1. With help from 400 volunteers, the WRP planted 4,500 native trees and shrubs along the White River and its tributaries in Bethel, Granville, Hancock, Hartford, Pomfret, and Royalton to improve water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and flood resiliency.
2. The Upper White River Cooperative Weed Management Area hosted three efforts to manage non-native invasive plants, including hiring a seasonal coordinator to inventory NNIP along town roads in Granville, Hancock, Rochester, and Stockbridge; working with private contractors to treat NNIP at four sites in Granville; and organizing a garlic mustard pull event on Route 100 in Rochester.
3. The WRP partnered with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources to install culvert headers, water bars, stone-lined ditches, and stone aprons to reduce non-point source pollution on two Class IV town roads in Roxbury.
4. The WRP worked with the towns of Rochester and Sharon to submit 8 FEMA buyout applications on behalf of private landowners with “substantially flood damaged” homes. FEMA makes funds available to towns to “buyout” and convert damaged properties into permanent green space along the river. Projects will be implemented in 2013.
5. The WRP, Green Mountain National Forest, and US Fish & Wildlife Service worked with the Town of Rochester to design and fund the replacement of 3 flood-damaged culverts with larger, more flood-resilient structures.
6. Using donations generated by the new Clean Water Future website, the WRP, Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, and Greater Upper Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited volunteers implemented an innovative streambank stabilization project at Hurricane Flats Farm in South Royalton using large woody debris left behind by Tropical Storm Irene
Goal – To raise awareness about watershed issues and to promote long-term stewardship, we inform the public about important issues and offer opportunities for the public to actively protect the watershed.
1. The WRP partnered with Verdana Ventures and watershed schools in Bethel, Braintree, Chelsea, Hartford, Pomfret, Randolph, Royalton, Sharon, Stockbridge, Strafford, and Tunbridge to participate in 4 “science to service” projects – monitoring crayfish, riparian trees, waterbugs, and wildlife tracks – designed to increase student awareness of watershed issues and to produce useful information for the WRP and its partners.
2. The WRP recruited over 300 volunteers to remove over 20,000 pounds of man-made flood debris from the river in Bethel, Braintree, Hartford, Pomfret, Randolph, Rochester, Royalton, Sharon, and Stockbridge; and 3 Vermont Department of Labor Crews and 1 Vermont Youth Conservation Corps crew to remove over 100,000 pounds of man-made flood debris from the river in Bethel, Braintree, Granville, Hartford, Pittsfield, Randolph, Rochester, Royalton, Sharon, and Stockbridge.
3. The WRP is working with Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission to conduct outreach to the towns of Granville, Hancock, Pittsfield, Rochester, and Stockbridge about incorporating river corridor protection measures in town documents.
We invite you to support our work in 2013 – please consider making an end-of-year donation online today!