Smugglers’ Notch Resort and Lamoille County Conservation District have developed a partnership to restore a stretch of the Brewster River headwaters to improve floodplain access and restore the river channel for long term resiliency. Throughout the years, Smugglers’ Notch Resort (SNR) has been at the forefront to demonstrate their commitment to environmental stewardship and installed numerous stormwater best management practices to protect the health of the river. After the major flood in Spring of 2011 and Tropical Storm Irene caused extensive damage throughout the entire Brewster River, SNR sought to proactively work with partnering agencies to restore the river’s health.
A river corridor study, the Brewster River Corridor Plan completed in 2015, investigated the present conditions of the river and outlined many improvements that could be made to protect the natural, social, and economic values within the surrounding community. SNR representatives, Mark Delaney and Dan Maxon, met with a team of partners to discuss the options to implement some of these improvements. Lamoille County Conservation District’s (LCCD) Director, Kim Jensen, secured an Ecosystem Restoration Program Grant funded through the Clean Water Initiative to assist SNR to develop and plan the best course of action to implement the improvements to the river while protecting the infrastructure of the resort.
Presently, LCCD is working with Evan Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald Environmental Associates, to complete hydrologic studies and survey the stream to develop engineered designs that will improve the flood resiliency and protect the river corridor throughout the upper reaches of Brewster River. The work will be compiled into the Brewster River Development Plan that will be available this Fall.