Developing projects in Hancock and Tunbridge

The White River Partnership (WRP) has completed an effort to identify on-the-ground projects that can address chronic water quality concerns along nearly 7 miles of the White River in Hancock and Tunbridge.

Hancock projects

The community of Hancock was hard hit during Tropical Storm Irene, which damaged infrastructure and caused devastating flooding impacts.  As a result the community is committed to becoming more resilient to future flooding events and to protecting the town’s water resources by implementing on-the-ground projects that reduce future flood damages.

The WRP received Vermont Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP) funding to determine where river restoration projects would be most beneficial and to conduct outreach to 10 landowners along a 3.5-mile stretch of the Hancock Branch to garner support for on-the-ground projects.

Two landowners signed-on to implement three on-the-ground projects: a riparian buffer restoration project, a dam removal, and a floodplain restoration project. All three projects were implemented in 2018.

Tunbridge projects

The community of Tunbridge is concerned about chronic water quality issues in and around Tunbridge village. Issues include repeat flooding of village properties, a mass failure adjacent to VT Route 110 across from the village store, a mass failure at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds, and active erosion along the First Branch.

In response to these community concerns the WRP secured additional ERP funding to determine where river restoration projects would be most beneficial near Tunbridge village. The WRP reached out to 11 landowners along a 3.4-mile stretch of the First Branch to garner support for on-the-ground projects, and identified three feasible on-the-ground projects: a bioengineering project and two river corridor easement projects.

Next steps

In early-spring 2019 the WRP will recruit volunteers to harvest and install native willow stakes along the First Branch of the White River in Tunbridge. Keep an eye on our website for more information.

The WRP will also continue working with interested landowners to implement on-the-ground projects that result in clean water and fewer flood damages in Hancock and Tunbridge villages.

Working with landowners to develop and implement on-the-ground river restoration projects is one important way the WRP accomplishes its mission: bringing people together to improve the long-term health of the White River and its watershed. To learn more about current projects, visit the WRP Facebook page.