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Public Invited to Discuss Watershed Action Plan for the Lake Memphremagog, Tomifobia, and Coaticook Basin

May 16, 2023

For Immediate Release – May 16 2023

Ben Copans, Watershed Planner
Department of Environmental Conservation

Public Invited to Discuss Watershed Action Plan for the Lake Memphremagog, Tomifobia, and Coaticook Basin

Montpelier, Vt.State and regional planners are hosting two meetings in May 2023 about the state’s Draft Tactical Basin Plan for the Lake Memphremagog, Tomifobia, and Coaticook Basin that runs from Craftsbury to Newport and Averill (Basin 17). This Plan has been developed to protect and restore rivers, lakes, and wetlands in northeast Vermont including the Black River, Barton River Clyde River, Tomifobia River, Coaticook River, and several smaller streams that flow directly into Lake Memphremagog.

“This Tactical Basin Plan identifies water quality concerns across the Lake Memphremagog watershed and strategies to restore the lakes and rivers that are so important to this region of the state,” said Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner John Beling. “The plan will guide funding and the technical support from the State and key partners for the next five years, so attending these meetings provides a great opportunity for the public to guide these efforts.“

May 18, 2023 at 12:30 PM hosted by the Orleans Natural Resources Conservation District with a follow up meeting of the local work group.
In-Person Location: Prouty Beach Pavilion, 386 Prouty Beach Rd, Newport City, Vermont

May 23, 2023 at 6:30 PM hosted by the Memphremagog Watershed Association.
In-Person Location: Gateway Center, 84 Fife Drive, Newport City, Vermont

Both meetings can also be attended through Teams, learn more about joining us online.

The public comment period for this water quality plan runs from May 10 until June 10. Please submit comments at one of the public meetings or by email at Public comments can be submitted by mail to Ben Copans, Basin 17 Comments, 374 Emerson Falls Road, Suite 4, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819. State officials will respond to each comment in a summary written later this summer.

The Tactical Basin Plan identifies actions that will protect or improve rivers, lakes, and wetlands through cost-effective projects, including floodplain restoration, lakeshore restoration, agricultural best management practices, and stormwater projects. The plan includes 61 priority strategies focused on protecting and restoring water quality and aquatic habitat.

 “Water quality challenges are complex, requiring work across lakes, streams, forests, developed lands, and the agricultural landscape, so the plan is an important guide for the district and watershed partners to coordinate and focus water quality restoration efforts when these can have the greatest impact,” said Sarah Damsell, the District Manager with the Orleans County Natural Resources Conservation District.

Tom Latta, President of the Memphremagog Watershed Associated, encourages participation in these public meetings, “…to understand the water quality challenges in this watershed and to provide feedback on how to address these in a way that works best for local residents.”

Visit the Basin 17 web page for more information about the Draft Tactical Basin Plan, dates and locations of the public meetings, and an interactive StoryMap. Paper copies can be requested by contacting Ben Copans at or 802-490-6143.


The Department of Environmental Conservation is responsible for protecting Vermont's natural resources and safeguarding human health for the benefit of this and future generations. Visit and follow the Department of Environmental Conservation on Facebook and Instagram.