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Basin 5 - Northern Lake Champlain Basin Planning

What’s New

The Agency of Natural Resources is revising the Northern Lake Champlain Direct Drainages Tactical Basin Plan with partners during a year and half planning process. The Agency will release the updated plan at the end of 2024 (see below for the current plan and associated Story Map).   

Contribute to the Protection and Restoration of the Basin’s Waters  

Please share your knowledge and opinions relating to the basin's health of rivers, ponds and wetlands, as well as any interest in staying involved through a survey at this link. Through your survey responses, the planning process benefits from a more complete picture of the condition of the watershed and helps ensure strategies will lead to successful restoration and protection through the work of the Agency, its partners and the community.  

2020 Northern Lake Champlain Direct Drainages Tactical Basin Plan 

The 2020 Northern Lake Champlain Direct Drainages Tactical Basin Plan (summarized in a Story Map found at this link: is a five-year water quality management plan.  The Plan provides an overall assessment of the health of the Basin and defines on-going and future actions and strategies to address high-priority stressors such as encroachment, stream channel erosion, land erosion, and pathogens. The plan also includes recommendations for protection of high-quality water resources in the basin. 

State and federal resource agencies, watershed partner organizations, regional planning commissions and municipalities assist the Agency of Natural Resources with the development and implementation of the plan.  

The Plan also includes the Phase II content (Chapter 3) for the Lake Champlain Phosphorus Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), including setting targets for phosphorus loading from the basin to Lake Champlain. The Phase II content includes high-resolution phosphorus load modeling and projected phosphorus reductions for smaller sub-watershed as well as by types of sources (wastewater treatment plant, developed lands stormwater, roads, forestry and agricultural). The TMDL as well as the associated Phase I Implementation Plan point to issuance of this plan as a component of the TMDL’s accountability framework. 

The central component of the Tactical Basin Plan is an implementation table summary with targeted actions to protect high-quality waters and to address the water quality issues in the watershed. Individual projects are included in the VT Watershed Projects Database (WPD). 

The Northern Lake Champlain Direct Drainages includes the northern section of Lake Champlain, beginning just south of the Ferrisburgh and Charlotte town-line and ending at the Canadian border, and all Vermont surface waters in the drainage, except the three major river watersheds that drain directly into this section of the Lake. The Agency of Natural Resources has completed separate basin plans for those three major river watersheds, the Lamoille, the Winooski and the Missisquoi.

Older plans can be found at the following links:  

Basin Specific Reports

Additional Resources