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Lake Wise Basics and Resources

This August, the Franklin County NRCD hosted an education workshop on Lake Wise Tips for Homeowners at the Franklin Homestead & Carriage House in Franklin, VT. Franklin community members joined in on the conversation surrounding Lake Carmi water quality and steps we can all take to improve lake health.

Lake Wise Best Management Practices

Various practices can be implemented on shoreland properties, depending on site conditions and landowner priorities. Some examples include:

  • Increasing vegetation wherever possible. Native trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants typically have much deeper, stronger roots than turf grass. These roots helps to aerate the soil and increase stormwater infiltration. This helps to reduce the amount of runoff that reaches the lake. For a detailed list of native plants, view the Lake Wise Native Plant List.

  • Defining pathways. Creating a clearly defined pathways from your camp to the lakeshore helps to reduce compaction in other areas. If soil is heavily compacted, stormwater will not be able to infiltrate and is more likely to runoff into the lake. Defined pathways can look many different ways. They can be comprised of gravel, wood, or other materials. For steeper shorelines, infiltration steps can be a great option to reduce erosion and allow landowners to access the lakeshore area.

  • Infiltration trenches. Drip line infiltration trenches are located along the dripline of a building in order to catch and sink any stormwater coming from the structure's roof. These trenches help to insure that stormwater from your roof will not runoff directly into the lake.

For a detailed list and resources on shoreland best management practices, visit the VTDEC Shoreland Best Management Practices webpage.

woman stands in front of a bioengineered shoreline with a stone toe, biodegradable cuirs, and growing vegetation.
A Franklin County NRCD bioengineering project on Lake Carmi


Bioengineering methods used plants and biodegradable materials to stabilize shorelines. Bioengineered shorelines make great replacements for failing retaining walls. Bioengineering projects can stabilize an eroding shoreline while improving water quality and wildlife habitat.

Interested in learning more about bioengineering? Watch this VTDEC video that highlights previous bioengineering projects on shorelines in Vermont.

Lake Wise Resources

For more information on stormwater management on your property, view the Vermont Guide to Stormwater Management for Homeowners and Small Businesses.

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FCNRCD is hiring an Agricultural Programs Specialist

Job Title: Agricultural Programs Specialist               Supervisor: District Manager Job Classification: Non-exempt                              Salary: $22-25/hour Effective Date: 1/19/2024     


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