Watershed Planning Program

Welcome to the Watershed Planning Program and Tactical Basin Planning - Protecting and Restoring Surface Waters

 The Pass, Eden, VT, 2003 by Denise Cote - artist's depiction of trees, mountains, and riverProgram Overview
The Watershed Planning Program of WID is charged with developing and implementing watershed management plans that summarize existing water quality conditions and associated attainment with surface water uses, with identified priorities for surface water protection and restoration of degraded waters. The Vermont Water Quality Standards (*link) as well as Vermont’s Clean Water Act (2015) require the development of Tactical Basin Plans for each of Vermont’s 15 river basins to be adopted on a five-year recurring cycle. 

Tactical basin plans identify and prioritize the projects or actions needed to protect or restore specific waters and identify appropriate funding sources to complete the work, based on monitoring and assessment data. Since these tactical plans will guide all watershed work supported by the Water Investment Division, the issues identified in these plans are the ones that will be prioritized for management actions, including funding. Tactical Basin Plans integrate priority issues and actions from, including River Corridor Plans, Stormwater Master Plans, Road Erosion Inventories, and other sector-based assessments. 

 These plans integrate watershed modeling, water quality monitoring, sector-specific pollution source assessments, and stakeholder input to document geographically-explicit actions necessary to protect, maintain, enhance, and restore surface waters.  These efforts are implemented through a combination of Clean Water Initiative funding, partner support, internal agency support, and public rulemaking processes. 

Tactical Basin Planning Tools:

Tactical Basin Planning collage - cows grazing next to a stream with eroded bank, woodland waterfall, person wading in stream with a net

Below is a map of Vermont’s Watersheds with the name and contact of the Watershed Coordinator. Watershed Coordinators encourage public involvement and welcome input as they develop the tactical basin plans. To learn more, identify your area and Watershed Coordinator below. 

Watershed Planners are responsible for river and stream water quality and aquatic habitat assessments, municipal surface water protection assistance, and the Tactical Planning Process. Planners evaluate river and stream problems and threats; identifies special uses, values, and characteristics; catalyzes and supports watershed organizations and projects; provides funding and technical assistance to nonpoint source planning and implementation projects; and provides information and assistance to municipalities for local surface water protection.  

Basin Contacts:

Click here for a map of Watershed Coordinator's regions and contact information

Map of Vermont's 15 Tactical Planning Basins

Hudson River Drainage Basin:
  Battenkill, Hoosic, Walloomsac

Lake Champlain Drainage Basin:
   Southern Lake Champlain *
   Otter, Little Otter, Lewis Creeks
   Northern Lake Champlain
   Missisquoi Bay  

Connecticut River Drainage Basin:
   Ottauquechee, Black 
   West, Williams, Saxtons 
   Stevens, Wells, Waits, Ompompanoosuc §
   Upper Connecticut River

Lake Memphremagog Drainage Basin:
   Lake Memphremagog, Coaticook, Tomifobia

* Recently consolidated into one planning basin. Was previously addressed as two separate planning basins: Poultney-Mettawee basin and Lower Lake Champlain drainages.
†Mississqoui Bay planning basin now includes the Rock and Pike Rivers.
‡Now includes some adjacent CT River direct drainages that were part of the former Basin 13, which is no longer addressed as its own planning basin.
§ Now includes some adjacent CT River direct drainages that were previously addressed as part of the Upper Connecticut River planning basin.