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Wise About Water

Acid Rain Still Affects Vermont’s Lakes

It doesn’t make the news much these days, but acid rain reaches Vermont lakes.  Each year, Watershed Management Division staff sample acid-impaired and acid-stressed lakes to track changes in water quality and evaluate effects on the biological communities.  They’ve been doing this for 40 years – an incredible data trove …

New Vermont Guide for Management of Aquatic Invasive Plants

The Vermont Lakes and Ponds Program has released updated information on the management of aquatic invasive species.  In 2017, the Legislature enacted new rules designed to protect water resources, prevent infestations and spread, initiate rapid response where feasible, and minimize the economic and environmental impacts of aquatic invasive species. The …

Planting A Summer Bird ‘Feeder’

When we ask people what they enjoy doing at their lakeside camps, bird watching is often one of the top activities.  I too am an avid bird watcher, but I don’t scour the country-side, looking for elusive species.  My focus is on the local residents – chickadees, nuthatches and blue-jays.  …

Check Out Vermont’s Updated Stormwater Manual

Stormwater forms when precipitation falls on the land and begins flowing downhill to the nearest river, stream, lake or pond.  As it flows, it carries nutrients, sediments, other contaminants and things with it.  How much is carried and how far it goes depends on the amount of precipitation, the steepness of …

Finding The Watershed Management Division’s Public Notices

Activities that affects lakes, ponds, rivers,streams and wetlands may require a permit from the Watershed Management Division before proceeding.  As part of the process to determine whether a permit will be issued, information about the activity, the application, and any additional requirements are made available to adjacent land owners and …

Biological Indicators of Healthy Waters

Healthy rivers and streams tend to indicate a healthy lake. There are many indicators that can describe the health of the water, some more accessible than others.  Taking samples to a lab to test for parameters such as dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity and nutrients is often the standard procedure.  Using …

Cyanobacteria Resources for Vermonters

Take a look at the Watershed Management Division’s blog (called “Flow”) for a list of the 2017 cyanobacteria resources available for Vermonters.  These include a new video from the Health Department.  Learn about cyanobacteria so you can play safe on the water!

Slow it, Spread it, Sink It

Water moving across the land picks up and carries many things with it as it moves.  Fast moving water has a lot of power and can move large items – trees, buildings, even boulders.  Slow water carries things too.  Since slow-flowing water doesn’t have much power, it carries small things like soil …

New Dragonfly and Damselfly Atlas Available

The Vermont Center for Ecosystem Studies has opened a new online atlas of Vermont dragonflies and damselflies.   These lovely insects are keystone species for many of our smaller ponds and an indicator of overall shore land health.  You may remember from studies completed by the VT Lakes and Ponds Program, that …

Trees, trees, trees!

There are more than 4.5 million acres of forest in Vermont, roughly 78% of the state.  Those trees are doing a lot of work – protecting our waters, storing carbon, influencing our weather, and providing a variety of wood products.  Though we don’t always realize it, our backyard and lakeshore trees are …