Friends of the Mad River (FMR) will present the results of a recently completed river corridor study conducted on the Mad River in Warren. The meeting will be held on February 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the Warren Town Hall. The information gathered in the study will enable Warren to put in place a comprehensive up-to-date corridor management plan for the Mad River. Waitsfield was also included in the study, and the results from this portion of the study will be shared in a public meeting in March. 

The river corridor is the area alongside a river where the river is likely to move in the future and where the land and activities directly affect the river. The primary purpose of the river corridor study is to identify opportunities to increase long-term self-maintained river stability thereby reducing property loss and infrastructure damage associated with flooding and erosion, improving aquatic habitat and reducing sediment and nutrient pollution loading into the Mad River and Lake Champlain.

Over the past two years, with funding from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, FMR has made detailed measurements of the Mad River and its tributaries. This data helps us understand the physical stability of the river channel, the habitat conditions in the channel, the ability of the river to overtop its banks onto its historical floodplain at times of flooding to dissipate erosive forces, where sediment is transported and deposited along the river network, and where erosion hazards may exist in the future.

In Vermont the great majority of river-related damage to private and public property and infrastructure is caused by river erosion, not flooding.  

"The 100-year floodplain maps are useful to assure development in floodplains is flood-proof, but they are completely inadequate for protecting against far more serious erosion hazards," explains Caitrin Noel, coordinator for the FMR. This study identifies erosion hazards area and suggests a strategy to keep people out of harms way and restore the Mad River.

Using maps developed from the field data, a preliminary list of opportunities to restore stability was developed for the Mad River. The opportunities identified include broad, municipal-based approaches to restoration (i.e., stormwater runoff control) as well as site-specific projects (i.e., culvert replacements). As the first step in developing a community-based plan, FMR and its consultants would like to share the results of the study with the residents of Warren and offer an opportunity for questions and feedback.  

For more information about the meeting, please call Friends of the Mad River at 496-9127.