Flood Ready?

The best time to think of a flood is before it happens and the Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security has announced a series of ice jam/spring flood summits throughout the state in March. Town and city officials will receive updates on local flood outlooks and discuss available state resources in case of flooding or other disaster. This is the second year DEMHS has sponsored these summits.

It may be hard to imagine flooding with the rivers covered in ice and the woods full of snow, but the rivers are going to thaw and the snow is going to melt. How to deal with extra water as it moves from Point A (upstream) to Point B (downstream) is the subject of Flood Ready Vermont, a website with a wealth of information about preparing for and dealing with floods in our state, including many lessons learned in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene. Irene was not Vermont’s first big flood event and certainly won’t be the last, but perhaps the next one can be less destructive and disruptive to lives and infrastructure. Continue reading

Landowner’s Guide to Wetlands

“It is the policy of the State of Vermont to identify and protect significant wetlands and the¬†values and functions which they serve in such a manner that the goal of no net loss of such¬†wetlands and their functions is achieved.” — Vermont Wetland Rules

Wetlands are defined as areas “that are inundated by surface or ground water with a frequency sufficient to support plants and animals that depend on saturated or seasonally saturated soil conditions for growth and reproduction. These areas are commonly known as ponds, bogs, fens, marshes, wet meadows, shrub swamps, and wooded swamps. Wetlands often occur in association with lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams, creating transitional areas between dry land and open water. However, wetlands can also be isolated from any obvious connection to water when they occur where the topography collects surface water, or where ground water surfaces.”

In other words, where things that like it wet can live. Continue reading