posted at 11:36 am Wed Nov 12th, 2014 by (WherezIt_Staff)
It's not too late to apply for a 2015 Vermont Watershed Grant to fund projects that help Vermonters protect, restore and enjoy the state's watersheds. Applications are due to the Vermont Watershed Grants office by Friday, November 21.
"Watershed grants are available to municipalities, local or regional governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, and water-related citizen groups," said Rick Hopkins of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VTDEC). "Watershed grants can be awarded for projects that protect or restore water quality, shorelines or fish and wildlife habitats and may include planning, assessment, inventory, monitoring, on-the-ground implementation and education.
"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," added Hopkins.
Rod Wentworth, of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, explained that watershed grants provide a way for local people to make a difference. "This program, now in its 17th year, is a great opportunity for sporting clubs or watershed groups to undertake a project to help their local stream or lake, such as planting trees or developing a watershed conservation plan or outreach program," said Wentworth. "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. The more we can do to spread the word about how to best protect both our waters and our property, the better."
This grant program is a joint project of the Fish & Wildlife Department and the Department of Environmental Conservation. Since its inception in 1998 the program has paid for 336 watershed projects statewide. Proceeds from the sale of Conservation License Plates fund the Watershed Grants program and help support the Fish & Wildlife Department's Non-game Wildlife Fund. For the 2015 grant program, $100,000 is available for funding.
"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," said Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter. "Now that three new conservation plates have become available, we hope that sales will increase and allow us to fund even more great projects in the future."
The Watershed Grants application guide and application forms are available on the web at: 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.
Montpelier, VT 05602 (Set as Local)