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NEWS FROM THE FRIENDS

Sampling results from the sixth and final round of Friends of the Mad River’s Mad River Watch water quality monitoring show four sites with highly unfavorable E. coli levels as of last Wednesday morning, August 23. Sites between Tremblay Rd and Ward Swimhole demonstrated high E. coli values. This sampling, we switched sampling from our regular Monday schedule to Wednesday to try and capture data during a higher river flow than previously captured this summer (which caused us to miss last week’s Valley Reporter!). After many beautiful days of sun over the weekend, an evening of steady rain began last Tuesday afternoon. The came up from 112 cubic feet per second (cfs) to top out at 355 cfs at the US Geological Service flow gage in Moretown in the wee hours of Wednesday morning (3:30 am).

Sampling results from the fifth round of Friends of the Mad River’s Mad River Watch water quality monitoring show no sites with elevated E. coli levels as of Monday morning, August 7. The flow condition of the Mad River at the time of sampling Monday morning was low and declining (LD), measuring approximately 90.3 cubic feet per second (cfs) at the US Geological Service flow gage in Moretown. After intense rain Saturday, August 5, the flow peaked at 421 cfs in the evening hours and had been declining since. The mean flow for this date in the last 89 years is 120 cfs.

Sampling results from the fourth round of Friends of the Mad River’s Mad River Watch water quality monitoring show one site with unfavorable E. coli levels as of Tuesday morning, July 25, and one other close to the threshold. This week, we switched sampling from our regular Monday schedule to Tuesday to try and capture data during a higher river flow than previously captured this summer. After many beautiful days of sun over the week and weekend, a day of steady but not heavy rain began early Monday morning. The river topped out at 439 cubic feet per second (cfs) at the US Geological Service flow gage in Moretown on Monday, July 24, around 8:45 pm.

Using herbicide to establish floodplain forest at Waitsfield’s Austin parcel is a very complex issue. Non-native invasive plants are abundant in and around the Austin parcel, which degrades the floodplain and river condition and function (it has less ability to provide habitat, hold the soil, and slow flood waters than native floodplain forest). Consequently, there are no easy choices with this site.

Sampling results from the third round of Friends of the Mad River’s Mad River Watch water quality monitoring show no sites with elevated E. coli levels as of Monday morning, July 10. Unfortunately, however, this week our analysis does not include Moretown sites as we discarded results due to accuracy uncertainty. After heavy rains at the end of last week, the river topped out at 838 cubic feet per second (cfs) at the US Geological Service flow gage in Moretown on Friday, July 7 around 8 pm. Rains Saturday kept the river higher than normal, but Sunday was clear.

Sampling results from the second round of Friends of the Mad River’s Mad River Watch water quality monitoring show no sites with elevated E. coli levels as of Monday morning, June 26. After very heavy rains at the end of last week, the river topped out at 2,770 cubic feet per second (cfs) at the US Geological Service flow gage in Moretown on Saturday, June 24 around 8 am.

Friends of the Mad River (FMR) is pleased to announce its first ever photo contest. We love the river that connects our community and the land that feeds it. We invite you to join us in celebrating the beauty and vitality of the whole Mad River watershed with a showcase of beautiful pictures of the river, the valley, its uplands, and all those people and wildlife who call this special place home.

You are invited to celebrate the Mad River Valley’s progress toward resilience since Irene and learn about critical actions for building a stronger future. Wednesday, December 7, 5:30-7:30 PM. Valley Night at the Big Picture Theater. Come for the forum and stay for live music and drink specials!

With crisp fall temperatures in the air, Friends of the Mad River’s Mad River Watch (MRW) Program results from the sixth and final round of water sampling show four sites with unfavorable swimming conditions as of Monday morning. Tremblay Road Pines and Meadow Road bridge in Waitsfield as well as the Village swim area and Ward Access in Moretown were well over the DOH/EPA accepted “swimmable” E. coli level of 235 colonies per 100 ML of water. It is estimated that at the level of 235 colonies E.coli per 100 ML water, approximately 8 out of every 1,000 swimmers are likely to contract a water borne illness related to fecal contamination.

You’re invited to join Friends of the Mad River on Thursday, August 18th, from 7:00 – 8:30 pm at Fayston’s Robert Vasseur Town Hall for a presentation and discussion about the Mad River Valley’s water quality through the last three decades. Learn which Mad River streams are cleanest, where we have challenges, and what kinds of land uses cause poor water quality. Share with us which swimholes, access areas, and water quality data are important to you.

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