Read Conservation Ecologist Paul Marangelo's story here.
On Aug. 28, Tropical Storm Irene took aim at Vermont, bearing down with a ferocity seldom seen in the Green Mountain State. The losses were great on that bleak Sunday in August and our thoughts go out to everyone who was affected. The scale of Irene has also made us, at The Nature Conservancy, pause and think about what we do and what we can do in future. Undoubtedly, there will be more storms. The work we do in conserving floodplains, clayplain forests, streambanks, swamps and bogs has never seemed so relevant.
Read Vermont State Director Bob Klein's take on the storm. Hear from Conservation Ecologist Paul Marangelo on the importance of swamps, especially during heavy rain storms. And read the report, "Climate Change in the Champlain Basin," published last year by the Vermont and Adirondack Chapters of The Nature Conservancy. It addresses many of the issues that came up during the historic spring flooding and after Tropical Storm Irene: extreme precipitation and increased storm intensity, lake shore flooding, increases in stream power due to reduced access to floodplains, as well as the need to update stormwater control structures and encourage connectivity between aquatic systems, such as right-sizing culverts. You can download the report here.November 07, 2011
Vermont outdoors writer Lawrence Pyne, who lives near the Otter Creek swamp complex and has written about the impact of the flood and cleanup, also saw the benefits of the Conservancy-protected complex. He told Rose Paul, the Conservancy's Director of Science, that there was virtually no damage to the town of Middlebury because of the functional floodplain of Otter Creek. He noted that the “peak flow” of Otter Creek during the storm in Middlebury was less than the peak flow of Otter Creek going through Rutland, which is upstream of Middlebury and upstream of the big swamp complex. You would expect the peak flow to be greater downstream, Paul said, but that was not the case with Otter Creek during the Aug. 28 storm. “It gave me just one more reason to love the swamps,” Pyne said, after seeing how the swamps absorbed the floodwaters and protected Middlebury from flood damage.