Skip to main content

Vermont Surface Water Management Strategy

Vermont Surface Water Management Strategy Logo

The Vermont Surface Water Management Strategy has been prepared to address pollutants and stressors that affect uses and values of Vermont Surface Waters. On this page you can access:

  1. Goals and Objectives for managing Vermont surface waters in light of the goals of the federal Clean Water Act and Vermont's state surface Water Quality Policy;
  2. Activities and Stressors that affect water, as well as individual pollutants;
  3. Tools and Resources (Tool Kit) used to protect, and maintain and restore surface waters; and,
  4. Planning Process for individual watershed management.

New visitors to this site are encouraged to review the Introduction first, to understand the layout of the Strategy. The links below provide access to each section of the Strategy.

Goals and Objectives of the Strategy

The three primary goals of the Division are to manage Vermont's surface waters to:

  • Protect, maintain, enhance, and restore the Biological, Chemical & Physical Integrity of all Surface Waters
  • Support the Public Use and Enjoyment of Water Resources
  • Protect the Public Health and Safety

Four Objectives support these goals:

  1. Minimize Anthropogenic Nutrient and Organic pollution
  2. Protect and Restore Aquatic and Riparian Habitats
  3. Minimize Flood and Fluvial Erosion Hazards
  4. Minimize Toxic and Pathogenic Pollution & Chemicals of Emerging Concern


Chapter 1
Introduction and Strategic Framework for Statewide Efforts to Guide Surface Water Management

Chapter 2
Managing Water Quality by Managing Stressors - Introduction

The 10 Major Stressors that result in pollution to surface waters are:

Chapter 3
Watershed Management Division Strategic Plan 2016-2018

Chapter 4
Tactical Basin Planning: Managing Waters along a Gradient of Condition

The Watershed Management Division’s approach to implementing the Surface Water Management Strategy is via an integrated and refined "tactical" basin planning process. From this page, readers can access the Division’s updated approach to tactical basin planning process, or watershed-specific information (ongoing basin planning).


Appendix A
Vermont Regulations Pertaining To Surface Water management
These are the rules and laws pertaining to water quality.

Appendix B
This appendix presents descriptions of water pollutants that are found in Vermont surface waters.

Appendix C
Landscape Activities
This appendix presents information about how landscape activities produce the stressors responsible for polluting our waters.

Appendix D
Programs that Protect and Restore Waters of Vermont
State and Federal programs.