July 23, 2008

Crosby Brook Discussed Tonight

By Chris Garofolo, Brattleboro Reformer, Vt.

Jul. 23--BRATTLEBORO -- Town officials are asking residents to join them tonight to assist in planning water quality improvements alongside the Crosby Brook.

The meeting will be in Room 101 at the International Center on the World Learning campus beginning at 6 p.m., where the results of scientific studies and ongoing efforts to stabilize and improve the Crosby Brook will be discussed.

Located at two arms in Brattleboro, the stream runs parallel to Interstate 91 from the Route 5 overpass, goes under the highway and crosses again near the roundabout before traveling east toward the Connecticut River. The second arm of the brook runs along the edge of Black Mountain Road until it joins the first section near Route 5.

Brattleboro Planning Director Rod Francis said the idea behind the meeting is to provide the public access to the key findings of a report focusing on the brook and a chance for them to participant in a discussion about how the stream has been working.

"It's an opportunity to present science and get the community involved," he said.

The information provided by the stream assessment will help conservation officials develop strategies to reduce sediment and nutrient pollution, reduce property loss and infrastructure damage, improve aquatic habitat and prioritize restoration opportunities identified in the study.

According to Francis, the town has partnered with the River Management section of the Agency of Natural Resources and the Windham Natural Resources Conservation District to work on two different parts of the Crosby Brook.

Francis said the Brattleboro Planning Services Department hopes to submit a transportation enhancement grant application next month to further the work done to the stream, which is currently on the impaired waters list for sediment load.

Having a sediment load "means that there is dramatic levels of erosion occurring and the soil is finding its way into the Crosby Brook and then into the Connecticut River," said Francis. The eroded soil covers plant life in the stream, which provides habitat and food supply to aquatic life in the stream, he added.

The Windham County Natural Resources Conservation District, Vermont Agency of Transportation, the town of Brattleboro, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (Planning Section & River Management Program) and the Putney Road Association will host the public meeting.

"All these groups together have been working on this project for quite some time," said Francis.

Refreshments will be provided as well.


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