A basin plan provides an overview of a watershed’s health and a description of the prospective and ongoing steps to restore and protect its waters. With the purpose of improving both water quality and aquatic habitat, a basin plan presents the recommendations of local watershed residents, stakeholders from varying interests and natural resource professionals from many agencies. By identifying local concerns, known pollution problems and threats to water quality, actions can be taken to address issues, prevent or stop pollution and improve existing conditions.
The basin planning process involves myriad voices, local landowners, business interests, farmers, foresters, municipalities, regional planning groups, environmental organizations, natural resource professionals and state and federal agencies. The concerns identified have been brought to the table by individuals and are addressed by the entire group in the hope of seeing and promoting options from all possible sectors. A sediment-laden stream may be addressed by dealing with streambank erosion, road improvements, construction runoff or a fallow farm field. All these must be examined and the thoughts and perspectives of the many people involved in this plan have fostered this approach.
Currently HooRWA is working with the planning partners in Vermont on a basin plan that covers the Hoosic, the Walloomsac, and the Batten Kill. The draft plan is currently being refined and a survey to establish priorities for the numerous recommendations in the plan is being prepared. The survey document will provide a means for local watershed residents to help set the priorities.