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Wetland restoration is the process of returning a degraded wetland to an approximation of its pre-disturbance condition.  The United States lost over half of its wetlands since European colonization in the early 1600s, and Vermont lost as much as 35 percent.  Until recently, wetlands were seen as obstacles to development, agriculture, and travel, and were systematically drained and altered.  Conversion of wetlands was accepted practice as recently as the 1950s, and was even incentivized by government policies (see the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s Wetlands Status and Trends site for more info).  While conservation and protection of wetlands is critical for preventing continued loss of our remaining intact wetlands, wetland restoration is essential for rehabilitating those that have already been degraded or lost.  Select from the following links to learn about strategies and opportunities for wetland restoration.

  • 5 Star Restoration Program: The Five Star Restoration Program brings together students, conservation corps, other youth groups, citizen groups, corporations, landowners and government agencies to provide environmental education and training through projects that restore wetlands and streams.
  • Conservation Reserve Program Website: The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a land conservation program administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA).  The long-term goal of the program is to re-establish valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and reduce loss of wildlife habitat.
  • Bountiful Benefits of Wetland Buffers: Why wetlands need upland buffers to help them function and how you can create or improve wetland buffers.
  • Lake Champlain Basin Wetland Restoration Plan
  • Wetland Restoration Map 2017 Introduction: An introductory document on the updated Lake Champlain Basin wetland restoration modeling map.  While the maps are an important starting place to locate potential restoration sites, they do not replace or replicate the need for an on the ground resource assessment.
  • Native Plant Providers
  • Planting Guidance for the Revegetation of Riparian Areas in Vermont
  • Restoring Wetlands
  • River Corridor and Wetland Restoration
  • Vermont Clean Water Initiative: 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 that our quality of life that we enjoy depends upon access to clean and healthy water.
  • Water Quality Grants: A list of Vermont Water Quality grant opportunities.
  • Wetland Reserve Easement: The Natural Resource Conservation Service Wetlands Reserve Easement (WRE) is a voluntary program that provides an opportunity for landowners to receive financial assistance to enhance wetlands in exchange for retiring marginal land from agricultural.  WRE provides technical and financial assistance to eligible landowners to address wetland, wildlife habitat, soil, water, and related natural resource concerns on private lands in an environmentally beneficial and cost-effective manner. 
  • WRE Factsheet
  • Wetland Restoration, Creation, and Enhancement
  • Wetland Restoration Techniques

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Restoring Vermont's Wetlands