Time to discuss water matters at Hinesburg Town Hall

Hinesburg discussion to focus on the LaPlatte watershed, streams and Lake Champlain on March 31. Courtesy photo
Hinesburg discussion to focus on the LaPlatte watershed, streams and Lake Champlain on March 31. Courtesy photo

A conversation to help grow a culture of clean water will happen at 7pm at Hinesburg Town Hall on March 31. Panelists and attendees will consider how well the health of Lake Champlain is being protected, as well as the streams and wetlands in growing Vermont towns.

Panelists will identify what each town may consider doing to ensure that healthy stream corridors move clean water through the Hinesburg hills and village, and through Charlotte and Shelburne, to Shelburne Bay and Lake Champlain.

Lewis Creek Association will showcase its new surface water conditions map prepared by Milone and McBroom, which outlines conditions for LaPlatte watershed towns under current regulations.

The panel of guest speakers for the evening will include: Jessica Louisos, of the South Burlington Planning Commission and Milone and McBroom; Karen Purinton, Colchester Town Planning Office; Tony Stout, Lakeside Environmental; and Andres Torizzo, Watershed Consulting Associates. Marty Illick, of Lewis Creek Association and South Chittenden River Watch will moderate.

Preliminary findings suggest that state and federal regulations alone do not ensure clean water. Additionally, because current Vermont Water Quality Standards for streams are largely designed to protect stream biology, these do not necessarily guarantee the health of Lake Champlain. The audience will learn to what extent regulations ensure clean water, identify gaps, and discuss how towns may act to more fully protect Lake Champlain and the Champlain Valley water commons.

As lightly settled rural towns, Hinesburg and the surrounding communities still have the luxury of vast natural infiltration areas and forests to help avoid costly stormwater impairment, familiar to Vermont towns to the north. Village growth areas now hold natural wetland and stream features for recreation, quality of life, water filtration and infiltration and wildlife habitat.

As a follow-up to the evening, all are invited to a free showing of the film What’s Your Watermark? At 7pm at the Carpenter-Carse Library in Hinesburg on April 7.

Sponsors for both events include Lake Champlain Basin Program, Lewis Creek Association, New England Grassroots Environment Fund, Responsible Growth Hinesburg and South Chittenden River Watch.

For more information call Heidi Simkins at 482-5215.