River Valley E-News - Spring, 2010

 

Urban Watershed Capacity-Building Grants Available

Through the Targeted Watershed Grants Program, EPA plans to award up to $600,000 to engage communities in capacity building activities to foster an increased connection, understanding, and ownership of their waters. Recognizing a growing need for local watershed protection efforts in urban areas, EPA is soliciting proposals from eligible applicants that address the following two project components: (1) establish and manage a competitive urban watershed subaward program; and (2) provide urban watershed technical services to sub-awardees.

Proposals must be received by EPA by May 19, 2010. A national panel will evaluate and rank proposals based on criteria stated in the RFP. Selection of the successful applicant will be announced this summer. For more information, visit the Targeted Watersheds Grants program Web site..

CRJC, working with the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee (NH) and Southern Windsor County (VT) Regional Planning Commissions and several partners in Massachusetts, has nearly completed work under a similar grant ($953,000, matched by $458,000 in local funding, including the essential funding New Hampshire now threatens to eliminate): the Connecticut River Tri-State Targeted Watershed Initiative.

Vermont Nonpoint Source Pollution Reduction Grants

The VT Department of Environmental Conservation expects to award Clean Water Act Section 319 grants for up to $45,000 for projects that support restoration or implementation activities in watersheds that are impaired by NPS pollution and that have either an EPA-approved Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), a basin plan, or a local watershed restoration plan.

The focus is largely on impaired waters in the Champlain basin, but several are Connecticut River valley streams including Crosby Brook in Brattleboro, Newton Brook in Vernon, and a tributary to Tabor Branch in Topsham. The total amount of grant funds available under this RFP will be determined later; the program requires a 40% non-federal match. Proposals must be postmarked by Friday, May 7, 2010. More information.

Local River Subcommittee Spring Meetings

The Connecticut River's local subcommittees are looking forward to their next round of meetings, with full agendas ranging from a proposed rowing facility in Hanover to river campsites to a tour of Moore Dam.

Headwaters: Wednesday, May 26, 7-9 pm at the Columbia Town Hall, NH.

Riverbend: Thursday, June 3, 5:30-8:30 at Moore Dam Visitor Center, Littleton NH

Upper Valley: Monday, April 26, 7-9 pm at the Latham Library in Thetford Hill, VT

Mt. Ascutney: Tuesday, May 25, 7-9 pm at the Windsor Welcome Center, Windsor VT

Wantastiquet: Wednesday, April 28, 7-9 pm at the Westminster Town Hall, VT

The public is always welcome and encouraged to attend CRJC's local river subcommittee meetings. Details, including a complete agenda and minutes of previous meetings.

Several vacancies offer opportunities for interested citizens to serve their towns and their river. Representatives are sought for the following communities: Clarksville, Stewartstown, Haverhill, Piermont, Claremont, and Westmoreland NH, and Bloomfield, Ryegate, Windsor, and Vernon, VT. If you or someone you know would like to participate, please ask your select board or city council to contact CRJC.

 

Applause for CRJC's Atlas

We're hearing kudos for Where the Great River Rises, An Atlas of the Connecticut River Watershed in Vermont and New Hampshire. The five-year-long project, a collaboration between the Connecticut River Joint Commissions and Dartmouth College, resulted in the June release of the comprehensive and luxuriously illustrated volume. CRJC provided complimentary copies to each river town's library, high school, and college.

Experts in an array of fields contributed their knowledge and understanding of the Connecticut River valley to the handsome volume, edited by former CRJC Communications Director, Rebecca Brown. Copies are available at area book stores and through the publisher, University Press of New England.