A new group is being formed in Vermont to link and support watershed groups across the state with education and outreach, river clean-ups, and water-quality monitoring.
Watersheds United Vermont will network with the existing watershed groups to provide tools and funding for on the ground protection of the state’s water resources.
Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Program Manager Neil Kamman manages the monitoring, assessment and planning program for watershed management at the department. He explains the group got its beginnings when the current commissioner was appointed and began conversations with the various groups.
A list of well-heeled and smaller groups was created and Kamman says a listening session was eventually held.
Vermont River Conservancy Assistant Director Lydia Menendez is a member of the advisory group of Watersheds United Vermont. She notes there are numerous watershed groups working across Vermont, and while the size and structure of many of the groups differ, the work they do is similar.
Lake Champlain Committee Executive Director Lori Fisher echoes Menendez’s description of the varied nature of Vermont’s watershed groups.
Lydia Menendez pledges that Watersheds United will avoid competing for funding that watershed groups rely upon.
Menendez notes that there are more than 30 watershed groups formally recognized in Vermont.
Watersheds United Vermont plans to hold its first statewide meeting in February.