Vermont River Management Strategies

A Preliminary Survey of Existing and Potential Policy Options
PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 1112-08
Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Effective Vermont river management is vital to preserving the economic value of floodplains and waterways while reducing the damage to human property and life. Waterways are an important feature in the Vermont environment, and play a great role in agriculture, nutrient transport, recreation, transportation, and providing drinking water. These rivers can also cause extensive damage in communities and to local infrastructure during flooding events. The balance between utilizing this great resource and reducing its harm is essential to proper management strategies. These rivers are mapped and zoned through different federal, state, and local policies and regulations. While some policies have had great success in saving money and lives, policy improvements can enhance cost effective and sustainable strategies in Vermont. In order to develop effective management policies, it is important to first understand the economic values contained within Vermont floodplains. This report provides information on the foundation of Vermont river management in how the economic value of floodplains is assessed, how risk is determined, which government policies affect Vermont rivers, and what available methods exist to calculate the economic value of floodplains to better inform effective policy and management.