Building a Community of Lake Stewards

As lakeside plantings mature, they will help prevent shoreline erosion and will increase the volume of stormwater absorbed before it reaches the lake. Photo: Lake St. Catherine Association

In December 2023, Lake St. Catherine Association in collaboration with the Poultney Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District (PMNRDC) concluded their fourth season of facilitating Lake Wise on Lake St. Catherine.

Lake St. Catherine is located in Vermont’s Rutland County. A popular destination for residents and visitors alike, its heavily developed shoreline poses threats to water quality and ecosystem integrity. With a specific focus on mitigating untreated stormwater runoff, last season’s project team targeted the development of shoreline buffer zones in high visibility areas. The goal was twofold: to provide maximum benefit for water quality and habitat while encouraging fellow residents to adopt similar lakeshore management practices.

In total, the project team—which also included Lake St. Catherine Conservation Fund and Vermont State University Castleton—completed 20 Lake Wise assessments and made 78 recommendations to properties on Lake St. Catherine. A total of 15 projects were implemented on 11 properties, resulting in the restoration of 727 feet of shoreline length.

Through multi-year efforts to engage property owners in the restoration of Lake St. Catherine shoreline, project partners are steadily growing a community of stewards on this important waterbody. Takeaways and results from this project can serve as excellent reflection points as partners around the Basin enter another season of lakeshore assessments and restoration.

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