2012 project updates

2012 project updates

July 10, 2012

WRP staff, partners, and volunteers have been busy in 2012, implementing on-the-ground projects that improve water quality, fish & wildlife habitat, flood resiliency, and public access to the White River:

Tree plantings

This spring, the WRP worked with 8 landowners and 400 volunteers to plant 4,500 native trees along the White River in the towns of Bethel, Granville, Hancock, Hartford, Pomfret, and Royalton to improve water quality and stabilize streambanks. CHECK OUT planting project pictures on our Facebook page.

River cleanups

Since the flood, the WRP has worked with 350.org, Community College of Vermont, Connecticut River Watershed Council, Green Mountain National Forest, Green Up Vermont, Randolph Rotary Club, Rozalia Project, Trout Unlimited, Vermont Department of Labor, Vermont Law School, the towns of Braintree, Hartford, Pittsfield, Pomfret, Randolph, Rochester, Royalton, and Sharon, and almost 500 students and community volunteers to remove over 34,000 pounds of man-made trash along the White River and its tributaries.

The WRP will coordinate river cleanup events through the summer and fall in an attempt to remove as much remaining trash as possible. Keep an eye on our Events page to get involved in upcoming river cleanups and CHECK OUT cleanup project pictures on our Facebook page.

First Branch Phase 2 study

During 2012 and 2013, the WRP will work with Redstart Forestry, of Corinth, and the Vermont River Management Program to conduct a Phase 2 stream geomorphic assessment of the First Branch of the White River, from Washington downstream to Royalton, and seven major tributaries in the towns of Chelsea and Tunbridge. Redstart technicians will be taking stream measurements to identify opportunities to improve water quality, habitat, and flood resiliency.

After field work is complete, the project partners will host 2 public meetings to conduct outreach and seek input on the study findings, and will distribute a final River Corridor Management Plan to Washington, Chelsea, Tunbridge, and Royalton Selectboards and Planning Commissions, and interested residents.

Culvert replacements

The WRP is working with the Town of Rochester, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Green Mountain National Forest, and others to replace flood-damaged stream crossing culverts on 3 tributaries to the Upper White River: Howe, Marsh, and Nason Brooks. Replacement structures are designed to be flood resilient and fish-friendly by allowing passage of flood water, ice, debris, and aquatic organisms.

Monitoring river health

The WRP is monitoring post-flood impacts to watershed health through 3 complementary programs:

-WRP education partners worked with 12 schools to monitor impacts to crayfish, waterbugs, and riparian trees throughout the 2011-2012 school year. Click here to learn more about our school-based monitoring program.

-WRP staff and 24 volunteers are monitoring water quality at 22 swimming holes around the watershed this summer. Click here to see our latest monitoring results.

-WRP staff and partners are surveying and removing non-native invasive plants along roads, trails, and waterways in the Upper White River. Click here to learn more about the Upper White River Cooperative Weed Management Association – coming soon.