Shoreland Development and the Implications for Water Quality on Vermont Lakeshores

A Case Study Analysis of New Hampshire and Maine
PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 1314-12
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
St. Romain

Shoreland development along lakes and ponds in Vermont is responsible for considerable impacts to aquatic habitats. These impacts include physical erosion, nutrient loading, and damages to near-shore shallow water environments. Before this year Vermont has not had an official policy managing shoreland development specifically. During the 2013 and 2014 Vermont Legislative sessions, bills H.526 and S. 224, both addressing shoreland development, passed the House and Senate, respectively. These bills have passed both the house and senate and are currently awaiting the Governor’s signature. This study seeks to understand how effective Senator Snelling’s Shoreland Protection Bill will be for Vermont lakes. In order to make this evaluation, case studies will be drawn from New Hampshire and Maine with the intent of identifying the elements of shoreland development policy that make it effective at decreasing phosphorus levels. This data will then be used to generate an understanding of how Senator Snelling’s new legislation will impact water quality in Vermont.