The new Vermont Clean Water Initiative – Clean Water Vermont – reflects an exciting and growing collaboration among municipalities, state agencies, local and regional partners, farmers, businesses and the public to take action that will safeguard the public’s access to clean and safe water throughout the state. Vermonters and our visitors love the state’s streams, rivers, lakes, ponds and wetlands – they help define our Green Mountain landscape. We know our quality of life depends upon access to clean and healthy water.
Our success in sustaining and enhancing Vermont’s waterways requires us to work together and support a continual process of planning, prioritizing, developing, implementing and evaluating strategies.
This Initiative contains the following elements:
- Installing smart practices on our farms. We can reduce the amount of pollution that runs off of farm fields and barnyards. There are cost-effective practices that farmers can use to save soil, and reduce water pollution.
- Reducing polluted runoff from developed lands including highways and roads. We need to control the polluted runoff that flows off of our roads, parking lots, yards and roofs when the snow melts or when it rains. Communities are finding creative ways to reduce polluted runoff and we want to build on those efforts.
- Using our “natural infrastructure” – river corridors, floodplains, wetlands and forests– to reduce stormwater pollution and erosion and build resilience. As a state that has seen a federally declared flood disaster every year, we know that restoring and conserving our natural infrastructure can help mitigate floodwaters, which in turn reduce flood hazards and water pollution, while helping to keep our roads and communities safer and providing for important fish and wildlife habitat.
- Supporting municipalities and farmers in meeting our clean water goals. The nature and type of land uses contributing to our water quality challenges point to the importance of programs that deliver education and outreach, technical assistance, planning and financial support. A new Clean Water Fund will build on existing programs to assist communities and partners in targeting and implementing priority projects.
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