Clear Water Carbon Fund helps reforest Vermont’s rivers

Fund Responds to Local Support for Climate Action, Clean Water, and Resilience

In response from businesses and individual donors, the non-profit Clear Water Carbon Fund (CWCF) is set to plant over 1,000 trees in Vermont and Maine.

The Clear Water Carbon Fund, (www.clearwatercarbonfund.org), enables people and businesses to neutralize carbon emissions from activities ranging from a daily commute to a wedding to a conference by ‘purchasing’ trees to be planted along local streams and rivers. As the trees grow, they remove carbon from the atmosphere. At the same time, the trees protect water quality and stabilize stream banks, which helps prepare us future flood events.

The Fund, which began planting in 2012, is operated by the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, a non-profit research institute. Over the past two years, the Fund has planted over 1,900 trees in Vermont and Maine. The trees are planted in partnership with local watershed groups and monitored for 40 years.

“Climate change and clean water are crucially important issues to a lot of people,” said Ethel Wilkerson, project manager and Manomet scientist. “It is exciting that so many individuals and businesses have chosen to address the complex environmental issues by supporting local tree planting initiatives.”

This spring, the Fund will be supporting the White River Partnership and NorthWoods Stewardship Center to reforest critical stream buffers and flood plains in the state. This spring, the White River Partnership will begin working with local school children from Stockbridge Central School and The Rochester School to reforest a critical flood plain on Stony Brook, a tributary of the White River. The plantings will help to support the resilience and health of Stony Brook, which is an important spawning stream for wild rainbow trout, native brook trout, and Atlantic salmon.

Greg Russ, project manager at White River Partnership who will be overseeing the planting, explains” We will be restoring an acre of floodplain with native trees with the help of area students. The students love getting outside and dirty while learning at the same time.”

The Fund will enable the NorthWoods Stewardship Center in East Charleston plant 350 trees along a 960-foot strip of the Pherrins River, which flows into the Clyde River, and feeds Lake Memphremagog, an international water body that has had problems with phosphorus and sediment build-up.

Jayson Benoit, operations director and land management coordinator at the NorthWoods Stewardship Center (NorthWoods) explains, “The Pherrins River provides valuable spawning habitat for brook trout and is popular with local guides and anglers,” said Benoit. “The new trees will catch sediments and nutrients before they make it into the water, as well as absorb carbon dioxide from the air for decades to come.”

Additional financial support has been provided by the Northern Forest Center, through the Northern Forest Investment Zone initiative and the Audubon Toyota TogetherGreen Leadership Program.

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