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Vermont Awarded $300K to Boost Wetlands Protection

Release Date: 01/09/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – Jan. 9, 2009) – An EPA grant of $300,000 will help Vermont advance projects to protect wetlands.

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will use the EPA funding to strengthen the state’s wetlands protection program through a variety of mapping, monitoring and assessment, and restoration projects designed to enhance wetlands conservation statewide.

“Wetlands are incredibly important to the health and well-being of our environment, and provide tangible benefits to our communities,” said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Wetlands help store floodwaters, purify and increase our drinking water supplies, provide habitat for wildlife and recreation for citizens. We’re proud to work to improve wetland protection here in New England.”

For nearly two decades EPA has awarded Wetland Program Development Grants to state agencies, federally-recognized Native American tribes, local governments, and interstate associations seeking to improve wetland protection though research, training, mapping, and other mechanisms. In recent years, EPA identified three priority areas for grant applicants to address in their proposed projects: developing a comprehensive wetland monitoring and assessment program; improving the effectiveness of wetland compensatory mitigation; and refining the protection of particularly vulnerable wetland types, such as vernal pools.

The Vermont environmental agency will conduct numerous tasks to improve its overall wetlands protection program. They will strengthen and refine identification and assessment of wetlands not identified on the Vermont Significant Wetland Inventory Maps; make rule changes to bring these vulnerable wetlands under the protection of the state’s wetland rules; update wetland maps and inventories, and develop protocols for on-going updates to those maps; continue developing and refining protocols to assess the ecological health of wetlands; and develop best management practices for successful restoration and compensatory mitigation projects.

The Vermont grants are part of a region-wide funding pool for wetland grants in New England totaling more than $1.7 million. Other wetlands projects are being funded by EPA in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

More information:
Wetlands issues in New England (epa.gov/ne/topics/ecosystems/wetlands.html)

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