Water-quality partners address clean water in Windham region

BRATTLEBORO — The Windham Regional Commission and the Windham County Natural Resources Conservation District have expanded their outreach and services to municipalities and the public to improve tactical basin planning efforts for the West, Williams, and Saxtons River and direct Connecticut River Tributaries (Basin 11/13).

According to a news release, in addition to the basin planning efforts, the WRC and WCNRCD will also support overall water-quality efforts throughout Windham County.

The work is supported through a grant provided by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. Activities began this fall and will extend through September.

The Tactical Basin Plan for Basin 11/13 will undergo its five-year update by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation starting in the spring.

WRC and WCNRCD staff will assist the DEC by facilitating enhanced municipal and public input during the drafting process so that the TBP accurately reflects local concerns and priorities.

The partners will be working in the municipalities of Athens, Brattleboro, Brookline, Dover, Dummerston, Grafton, Jamaica, Londonderry, Marlboro, Newfane, Putney, Rockingham, Stratton, Townshend, Wardsboro, Westminster, Weston, Windham and Winhall to identify priorities, document progress, and conduct outreach necessary to develop priority projects and garner local support.

“Tactical basin plans are the road map for addressing water quality within the region,” said Windham Regional Commission planner Margo Ghia. “I am looking forward to working with the municipalities and the general public within the West, Williams, and Saxtons watersheds and getting their feedback on water priorities in their towns.”

Basin Plans help provide the umbrella for other planning initiatives, including Stormwater Master Planning and River Corridor Planning, and ultimately provide a vehicle to strategically address regional water-quality priorities.

Windham Regional Commission is one of 11 regional planning commissions in Vermont and, since 1965, has been assisting the 27 towns in southeastern Vermont to provide effective local government and work cooperatively with them to address regional issues.

The mission of the Windham County Natural Resources Conservation District is to advance conservation awareness to all citizens so that people understand and act on basic principles of rational use and care of the region's environment.

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