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NEWS FROM THE FRIENDS

Mad River Watch finds low E. Coli levels at many sites; downstream sites remain elevated. Mad River Watch kicked off its 26th season of water quality monitoring this Monday as volunteers headed to sites throughout the watershed to collect samples. The Mad River Watch program will conduct water testing every two weeks throughout the summer; results are reported in the newspaper and on signs at various swimholes.

Montpelier, VT - Friends of the Winooski River is hosting the 4th Annual Winooski River Sojourn June 21-26, 2011. This six-day paddling trip down the Winooski River draws participants from across the Northeast to canoe or kayak through Lake Champlainís largest tributary watershed. The trip begins in Marshfield, just downstream from the Cabot Headwaters and ends at the mouth of Lake Champlain in Burlington. Each day participants experience new aspects of the river from narrow, winding channels on day one to wide, flat gentle flows on day six, along with breath-taking views.

In 2010, volunteers observed species such as spotted salamanders, wood frogs, spring peepers and American toads crossing roads in Warren, Waitsfield and Fayston in large numbers. Each year, these creatures hibernate in forest and fields, and begin to migrate en masse to their spring breeding pools during the first warmish, rainy spring nights (typically in early April). More information is needed to better understand crossing patterns, thus volunteers will be mobilized again this spring to collect data. The Friends of the Mad River is spearheading the volunteer monitoring effort in partnership with the North Branch Nature Center and local Conservation Commissions. There will be a volunteer training held on March 23rd at 6:00 pm at the Waitsfield Elementary School. Interested volunteers should contact Caitrin Noel for more information at 496-9127 or friends@madriver.com.

Vermont's Bottle Bill is our state's most successful recycling program, and according to a poll by VPIRG has the support of more than 90% of Vermonters. Thanks to this important legislation, Vermonters recycle 85% of covered beverage containers, while states without such legislation recycle, on average, only 24%. By updating the Bottle Bill to include non-carbonated beverages, we can keep upwards of 82 million more containers out of landfills and off of our roadsides.

and a joyous New Year!

Read our latest Newsletter online!

Mad River Watch volunteers collected water samples from 36 sites throughout the watershed early Monday morning. Results show 16 sites in violation of Vermont water quality standards for recreational waters. The standard measures E.coli bacteria, which is found when there is fecal contamination present. High E.coli levels in water indicate the likelihood of high levels of water-borne pathogens, which can sicken swimmers. Vermontís standard for E.coli is 77 colonies per 100 ml sample, a conservative standard nationally.

Mad River Watch volunteers collected water samples throughout the watershed on Monday morning July 26th. Results show there were favorable swimming conditions at some locations, while at others E.coli levels were above the state water quality standard. Sites in violation of water quality standards were located in Warren, Waitsfield and Moretown and included: Warren Village, Couples Club, Waitsfield Covered Bridge, Meadow Road bridge, Moretown Village Swim Access, and Wardís swimhole.

The third round of water samples taken by Friends of the Mad River volunteers on Monday morning July 12th show generally favorable swimming conditions with eight of thirty-six sites (22%) tested in violation of Vermontís water quality standards. The eight sites that were in violation of water quality standards were: Couple Club, Meadow Road bridge, North Road in Moretown, Moretown Village swim access, Ward Clapboard Mill, Welder Brook, Ward swimhole and Loverís Lane Bridge. The state water quality standard for recreational waters measures E. coli bacteria, an indicator of pollution from human or animal waste and the potential presence of disease causing organisms.

Mad River Watch samplers braved heavy rains and flooding in some locations to collect water samples at 36 sites on Monday morning. More than 2.5 inches of rain fell late Sunday into Monday morning, causing the river flow in Moretown to rise to more than 4,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) at the time of sampling (historic average flow for June 28th is 83 cfs).

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