Public meeting to discuss Lewis Creek plans

FERRISBURGH-Several, heavy summer thunderstorms in recent years have taken their toll on Lewis Creek at surrounding watershed. Flash flooding during these storms has eroded portions of the creek and surrounding streams and threatened the creek's ecology. The Ferrisburgh Conservation Commission is sponsoring an information session on Tuesday, March 9, at 7:30 p.m. at the Ferrisburgh Town Offices and Community Center on the subject of erosion. Guests speaking on this topic are Ethan Swift and Marty Illick.

Ethan Swift is the Watershed Coordinator with the Department of Environmental Conservation, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. Among its many tasks, the Department of Environmental Conservation manages water quality programs.

As the watershed coordinator, Swift helps to develop and implement river basin plans.

Illick is the director of the Lewis Creek Association. The mission of Lewis Creek Association is to protect, maintain and restore ecological health while promoting social values that support sustainable community development in the Lewis Creek watershed. Ferrisburgh is a watershed town of Lewis Creek.

Ferrisburgh has Kimball Brook, Otter Creek, Lewis Creek, Little Otter Creek, other unnamed meandering brooks, and Lake Champlain shoreline.

Municipalities can have the mapping, planning, and zoning tools to minimize river-related erosion hazards. Individuals can take the lead in learning about mitigating flood and erosion hazards.

The Tuesday night program will focus on the processes of a river and erosion hazards. Specific information on some of our streams and currently available programs designed to avoid or lessen the effects of erosion will be available.

Excessive erosion can cost a lot of taxpayer money to fix or mitigate.'

Mitigation options include education, regulations, passive restoration investments like riparian area easements, and CREP (the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture). Any one living on or near the lake or one of Ferrisburgh's streams may find this topic of personal interest.

If you have any questions, contact Craig Heindel, chairman, Ferrisburgh Conservation Commission at 425-3620 or via e-mail at cheindel@gmavt.net.

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