NorthWoods is seeking landowners who are interested in designing water quality improvement projects on their lakeshore. Through a 2017-2018 Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP) Grant from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VT DEC), NorthWoods Stewardship Center is able to provide free designs of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for lakeshore landowners on Echo Lake and Seymour Lake.
BMPs protect and improve water quality in our lakes by reducing stormwater runoff and
sediment loading from lakeshore properties. BMPs treat stormwater by reducing its velocity and redirecting it to a treatment area where it can infiltrate into the ground, which results in the settling out of any sediment and the absorption of excess nutrients.
Sediment binds with phosphorus and other nutrients. A normal level of stormwater runoff picks up sediment and its bound phosphorous as it moves toward the lake. Heavy rain events can cause significant erosion with even more sediment transported to the lake. Without proper filtration, these nutrients flow directly into the water, causing blooms of cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae) which can be harmful to the rest of the aquatic ecosystem and to humans.
Common sources of runoff on lakeshore properties are eroding driveways, compacted paths, shoreline that doesn’t have much vegetation, and large areas of impervious surface including roofs, patios, and even mowed lawns. The implementation of a BMP can be used to offset runoff from any of these sources. Unvegetated shorelines can be planted. Driveways can be stabilized with water bars and open top culverts. Rain gardens can capture and infiltrate runoff from roofs lawns. Infiltration steps can capture and infiltrate runoff from footpaths. Each BMP will be designed and fitted specifically for each individual property based on the conditions of the site and the landowner’s preferences.
You can help protect and improve the water quality on our beautiful lakes by participating in this program and allowing us to help you make your property as lake-friendly as possible. Many of these BMPs can simultaneously save you annual maintenance costs and support the health of the lake. If you have any water quality issues on your property that you’re aware of, or if you would like to learn how you could improve the lake-friendliness of your property, please contact Trevor Banister at email@example.com or 802-723- 6551 x302. We look forward to working with you to improve and protect the water in our lakes!