The 2015 Vermont Watershed Grants Program is now accepting applications for funding projects that help Vermonters protect, restore and enjoy the state’s watersheds. The applications are due no later than Friday, November 21.
“Watershed grants are available to municipalities, local or regional governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, and water-related citizen groups, Many types of watershed projects are eligible, including those that protect or restore water quality, shorelines or fish and wildlife habitats. In light of the damage and lessons learned from Tropical Storm Irene and other recent Vermont floods plus our ongoing efforts to better manage runoff containing nutrients and sediment, we are very interested in projects that implement practical measures or involve education affecting stream habitat protection, restoration, flood resiliency and related topics.” ~ Rick Hopkins of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VTDEC).
The program, now in its 17th year, offers watershed groups and sporting clubs an opportunity to take on a project to help their local stream or lake. These projects can include planting trees, developing a watershed conservation plan or outreach program.
“We are blessed with many wonderful lakes and rivers in Vermont, and practices such as restoring vegetation along shorelines, removing old abandoned dams and improving storm runoff management can help improve their health and value for fish and wildlife.” ~ Rod Wentworth, of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.
Vermont Watershed Grants Program is a joint project of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and VTDEC, and is funded by sales of Vermont Conservation License Plates. The program has funded almost 336 watershed projects statewide dating back to 1998. In 2015 the program has $100,000 available to fund three categories of projects. Those categories are: education and outreach ($7,500), planning, assessment, inventory, monitoring ($5,000) and on-the-ground implementation ($15,000).
“When Vermonters purchase a Conservation License Plate they’re helping protect healthy streams and lakes as well as conserving wildlife and important habitats for future generations. Proceeds from the sale of Conservation License Plates fund the Watershed Grants program and help support the Fish & Wildlife Department’s Nongame Wildlife Fund.” ~ Louis Porte, Vermont Fish & Wildlife Commissioner.
Watershed Grants application guides and application forms are available from the Watershed Management Division of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (802-828-1535), or from their website (www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/waterq/lakes/htm/lp_watershedgrants.htm).
Applications for the Vermont Conservation License Plate are available on the Fish & Wildlife website: www.vtfishandwildlife.com/support_plates.cfm, and at offices of the Department of Motor Vehicles.
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