Essex Residents at Work for the Environment

Incorporated in November 2005, Essex Waterways Association is a grass roots citizens organization in Essex Town, Vermont, devoted to protecting and improving water quality in the Town's streams, lakes and wetlands.  Volunteers monitor water quality, engage in geomorphic assessment and have plans for public education as well as stream clean-up and restoration activities.

New volunteers are welcome and needed!  To volunteer contact Suzanne Levine, EWA President, (872-9953, or Ashley Wright, Project Manager for 2007 (

2006 Projects
Indian upper site
geomorph lower
Upper reach geomorph
Water Quality Monitoring:
Alder, Indian and Sunderland Brooks

EWA monitored water quality in Alder, Indian and Sunderland Brooks biweekly from June to October 2006 with analytical support from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VTDEC) LaRosa Laboratory and the University of Vermont.  Measured parameters included temperature, salinity, chloride (a more sensitive indicator of road salt), phosphorus, nitrogen, pH, dissolved oxygen, suspended sediment concentration and turbidity.   Sampling sites were chosen to reveal the impact of urban/suburban outfalls on stream condition.

To download the annual report for this project click here

Monitoring will continue in 2007.  With more volunteers the project could expand to include the Browns River or Indian Brook Reservoir.
Geomorphic Assessment:
Alder Brook

Streams disturbed by in-stream manipulations (e.g., straightening or damming), stormwater inputs and floodplain intrusions may adjust to these stresses through downcutting, bank erosion or sediment infilling.  Geomorophic assessment involves a mapping of ongoing adjustments and prediction of likely outcomes.  It is useful in identifying reach reaches requiring extra protection or active restoration. 

EWA received funding through the Governor's Clear and Clean Program (Agency of Natural Resources, River Management) to  conduct geomorphic assessment of Alder Brook during 2006.  Fitzgerald Environmental Associates was contracted to conduct the study with field assistance from EWA volunteers.

To download the final report for this project click here.