State park floodplain to be restored

Mar 19, 2019
News State Park Floodplain Preston Brook Vt M 2019

In 2011, Tropical Storm Irene devastated Vermont, causing $153 million in damage. Homes were washed away and bridges and roads were decimated.

Looking to the future, climate change is predicted to bring more intense storms to the Northeast and in response, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is working to make its land more flood-resilient. The agency is pursuing several projects to restore rivers across the state, including a preliminary engineering design for floodplain restoration in Camel’s Hump State Park near the outlet of Preston Brook.

“Floodplains are some of the most dynamic and diverse areas on our planet. By restoring our floodplains, we will become more resilient to extreme weather events,” said Rebecca Pfeiffer, the Northwest Floodplain Manager for the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.

“Floodplains are the pressure-relief valve for our river systems. When a brook or stream is able to spill out onto its undeveloped floodplain, floodwaters slow down, many nutrients and debris are stored on the floodplain rather than traveling downstream and contributing to poor water quality, and we see less erosion or potential for damage to public roads and infrastructure, or to private homes and businesses,” Pfeiffer said.

The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation has hired Milone & MacBroom Inc. to complete the initial engineering design for Preston Brook. The brook drains 6 square miles of forest known as “Honey Hollow,” including parts of Camel’s Hump State Park.

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