FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –  3/21/14

Pomfret, Vermont – In celebration of World Water Day on Saturday March 22, the Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC) today announced a new river restoration project that will take place this spring at Billings Farm in Woodstock, Vermont.

CRWC recently was awarded an Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP) grant from the State of Vermont (Agency of Natural Resources).  Additional donations are being sought via CRWC’s “crowd-funding” website CleanWaterFuture.org – which links people, businesses and organizations to conservation projects that improve water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, erosion control, and public access.

The ERP grant from the State will help address a top water quality priority in the Ottauquechee River; the need for streamside vegetation. “It is clearly understood that the lack of vegetation along our rivers is a major cause of water quality and habitat problems. The simplest, most efficient and most cost effective way to improve and protect water quality is to plant more trees and shrubs along our rivers,” said Marie Caduto, Watershed Coordinator for ANR.

The project, scheduled for this spring, also includes the removal of invasive plants that threaten ecological and economic health on the Farm.   The invasive species include bush honeysuckle, glossy buckthorn, and oriental bittersweet – all of which can crowd out native plants, suppress tree growth, and potentially spread to nearby properties.  CRWC currently is seeking donations for this work through the CleanWaterFuture.org website.

A host of partners are joining CRWC, ANR and Billings Farm on this project, including; the Ottauquechee Natural Resources Conservation District, the Ottauquechee River Group, the Ottauquechee Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area team, the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, the Greater Upper Valley Trout Unlimited chapter, and the Change the World Kids.

###

CONTACT:  Ron Rhodes, North Country River Steward,

Connecticut River Watershed Council

(802) 457-6114 or rrhodes@ctriver.org