July 08, 2011
The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation has awarded the Orleans Natural Resources Conservation District (NRCD) a $20,821 Ecosystem Restoration Grant to support their Northeast Kingdom Lakeshore Buffering and Trees for Streams Programs. The NRCD will utilize these funds to contact targeted landowners along rivers and lakeshores to solicit interest in the programs as well as the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program and Wetland Reserve Program. The project will buffer at least 3,500 feet of water frontage with native tree and shrub species at 12 or more high-priority sites with a goal for buffer width of 35 feet, although smaller widths may be considered on a site-by-site basis. As these are cost-share programs, landowners will be responsible for 20 of plant costs. A sign identifying the project will be placed at highly visible sites, increasing the educational value of the program and helping to generate interest among other property owners. Landowners interested in finding out more information about participating in the program on their lake, pond, or riverside properties should contact Dayna Cole at the Orleans Conservation District at (802) 334-8325 ext. 18
The focus of this project is on restoring buffers on lakes and rivers in the Lake Memphremagog watershed and will benefit the lake and other rivers and lakes in the watershed in number of ways. Lake Memphremagog is considered impaired due to excessive phosphorus levels. Buffer restoration projects will help prevent erosion and filter phosphorus and sediment from runoff before it reaches surface waters thus reducing nutrient levels in the lake. In addition, shoreland is the critical interface between a lake or river and the terrestrial environment. Restoring vegetated buffers will benefit aquatic life as well as birds and other animals that depend on proximity to water for breeding or feeding. Finally, a buffer of diverse tree, shrub and plant species provides better long-term bank stability. Similarly, wetland restoration projects that are initiated through this grant will help to reduce phosphorus levels in the lake and provide important wildlife habitat.
Ecosystem Restoration Grants are made available to Vermont municipalities, local or regional governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, and citizens groups as part of the Ecosystem Restoration Program’s on-going efforts to reduce surface water pollution from phosphorus and sediment. Funded projects typically involve efforts to improve stream stability, protect against flood hazards, improve in-stream and riparian habitat, lessen the effects of stormwater runoff, protect and restore riparian wetlands, re-establish lake shoreline native vegetation, and enhance the environmental and economic sustainability of agricultural lands.
Source: Agency of Natural Resources
Last Updated at: July 08, 2011 10:09:23