Friends of Northern Lake Champlain recently received a Conservation Innovation Grant through the Natural Resources Conservation Service. This will provide funding for FNLC to partner with NRCS, testing various media in an end-of-tile phosphorus removal system. With recent research showing high levels of dissolved phosphorus flowing through tile drainage systems, we have many questions about the effect that tile drainage- a series of perforated underground pipes which allow farmers to control the moisture levels in their soil- have on water quality in Lake Champlain. Media to be used in the experimental treatment project will be identified by students in UVM Research Professor Don Ross’s Soil Science class, and might include limestone fragments or drinking water residuals.
Working with municipalities, local landowners and individuals, Friends of Northern Lake Champlain has started to make strides in how storm water is flowing. Our goal is to help slow the water down to give it a chance to soak into the ground. Some projects focus on reducing the amount of water and some projects are geared towards reducing the sediment and pollution in the water.
Over the past 3 years we have developed comprehensive Stormwater Planning and Mapping Documents for 8 Franklin County Municipalities and are currently working on 3 more towns. These documents help to prioritize Municipal stormwater projects in towns that contribute pollution to Lake Champlain.
This spring, we will continue to identify, engineer, and implement municipal stormwater projects. With the help of a grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program, we will be developing a solution in Sheldon Springs in a sensitive area that drains directly into the Missisquoi.
We are also launching an agricultural stewardship outreach, mapping and implementation project in the Critical Source Areas in the Missisquoi Basin. This project is designed to give farmers a guidance document to manage and implement projects to stop erosion and soil loss on their farms.
In our effort to stop erosion from the land into the waters of our watershed, we need to recognize that this work cannot be accomplished without a team of people each playing a valuable role. Our partners on these projects include: Municipal Governments, Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation, Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets, UVM Extension, Farmer’s Watershed Alliance, Agrilab Technologies, Fitzgerald Environmental, Missisquoi River Basin Association, Franklin Watershed Committee and most importantly, the landowners that allow us to look around, identify erosion issues, and bring solutions to the site.