The Nature Conservancy Announces Completion of Twelve Water Quality Projects
Projects made possible by Keurig Dr Pepper investment of $1 million over five years and collaboration with the Vermont Land Trust
The Nature Conservancy in Vermont is proud to announce the completion of twelve water quality projects with funding support from Keurig Dr Pepper. The projects, completed between 2016 and 2020, were located at twelve different sites across the Lake Champlain watershed and were completed in collaboration with the Vermont Land Trust.
The twelve projects located in East Montpelier, Cornwall, Colchester, Calais, Pawlet, Highgate, St. Albans, Swanton, Berkshire, Richford, Williston, and Westfield helped to improve the quality of our water by conserving and restoring wetlands and floodplains.
“We invest in high quality water projects that will benefit communities for years to come,” said Monique Oxender, SVP and Chief Sustainability Officer of Keurig Dr Pepper. “We are proud to partner with The Nature Conservancy to ensure our efforts in these communities are comprehensive, grounded in scientific understanding and locally relevant.”
Seventy-five percent of Vermont’s rivers have been straightened, resulting in rivers that run faster and carry more nutrients and sediments downstream. As of 1980, Vermont had lost 35% of its wetlands due to development. Healthy vegetated wetlands and floodplains, filter nutrients and absorb floodwaters at a fraction of the cost of engineered solutions, making their protection and restoration a critical part of cleaning our lakes and rivers. For each acre of wetland or floodplain protection, these natural resources provide $590 in natural goods and services each year.
“These projects illustrate the type of investments and collaboration we need to move the dial on Vermont’s water quality issues. We all have a role to play—landowners, businesses, state agencies, and NGO’s—pulling in the same direction,” said Heather Furman, Vermont State Director for The Nature Conservancy. “By honoring nature’s inherent power to solve our environmental challenges, we can tackle both our water and climate issues and create a thriving future for both people and planet.”
The twelve projects resulted in the conservation of five hundred and nineteen acres, including floodplains and wetlands, nearly all on farmland. The Vermont Land Trust was a key project partner, working with landowners to implement solutions to safeguard water resources and support successful farm operations.
“Farming and clean water can and should go hand in hand. These twelve projects show us what’s possible when we put differences aside, roll up our sleeves, and get to work,” said Nick Richardson, President & CEO of the Vermont Land Trust. “The waterways are healthier, the farms are more sustainable, and the relationships are stronger.”
Nearly three-quarters of the funding was used to fund conservation easements which protect the wetlands and river corridors in perpetuity, allowing floodplains to be restored, rivers to find their natural path, and wetlands to thrive, benefitting Vermont’s waterways while also improving wildlife habitat and increasing flood resiliency.
The Nature Conservancy in Vermont has helped conserve over 300,000 acres of land, 2000 miles of shoreline, and we own and manage 58 natural areas.
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories—37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners—we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.