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September 2014

Friends of Waterbury Reservoir is a Vermont non-profit organization committed to protecting, improving and enhancing the ecological, recreational, and community values of the Waterbury Reservoir. We accomplish this through Reservoir stewardship, research and community involvement, collaboration with all stakeholders, and connecting people and place.
In This Issue
FPR Management of Remote Campsites
Message from Susan Bulmer,  Northeast Regional Parks Manager
Vermont State Parks
"Greetings, FWR -- Little River park staff have been very busy on the Reservoir this summer, and I know that you have been interacting with them periodically. It has been another learning year for all of us, but Terry Wendelken [new Reservoir Floating Ranger] and Jessica Halterman [Little River State Park Ranger] have definitely had a presence on the Reservoir.
There has been a lot of emphasis on building relationships, sharing information and educating users. I actually have been on the Reservoir 4 times this summer, and hope to spend at least one more day in September. ... We were able to find locations for the 10 composting toilets. That has been the primary focus of my visits.
The VT Youth Conservation Corps ("VYCC") moved to the Reservoir on August 24 and will be working over the next 7 weeks to install the 10 toilets and to work on some other sites as time permits." 
A remote campsite marker is discretely placed along the shoreline to be just visible by a nearby boater.

Follow FWR on FaceBook for photos and updates on the VYCC crew's construction of 10 new composting toilets at select campsites.
2014 American Rivers Clean-Up
The Power of Partnership!
The Friends of Waterbury Reservoir partnered with  Friends of the Winooski River, Keurig-Green Mountain Coffee and American Rivers for a community river cleanup day on Saturday, August 9th. The two Reservoir sites cleaned were at the Cottonbrook region on the northern end and the Blush Hill Boat Launch. FPR's Terry Wendelken and FWR's Laurie Smith served as Site Captains. Volunteer crews collected over 600 pieces of trash, weighing more than 200 pounds in just 3 hours! The data collected from this one-day event is vital to our 2014 Trash Data Study. And, perhaps as important, this was a valuable stewardship-building opportunity.
Clockwise from top: Eric hauls in one of three tires; Gabe the dog (FWR's unofficial mascot) and the mighty Cottonbrook crew of Barb, James & Eric; Darren at Blush Hill; Terry and Laurie with the Cottonbrook haul loaded into in VT State Parks' boat.
Rozalia Project Trash Data Study Update
This wicker chair has been mocking us since we first saw it in April! At last - the water level was just right on August 23 so to drag it safely into a canoe. This trash sample includes old brown glass, single-use drink bottles, building materials, tennis balls (of course) and camper cast-offs. Total weight: About 90 pounds. Cleanup location is Zone 2, west, on and around a remote campsite.

About the  Trash Data Study - including maps, instructions on how you and your family, co-workers and community group can participate, plus downloadable data cards. Read more about Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean.
How NOT to practice Leave-No-Trace principles at a remote campsite
End-of-Summer Student Intern Blog
Charlotte Thompson, University of New Hampshire
Special Thanks to
Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean
"One of the biggest things college has taught me is that even though something or someone seems perfect on the outside, when you look deeper there will always be imperfections. And this is what makes us relatable and human, though it is no different with most things in the world. The past few years, I have spent more and more time on the reservoir, swimming, camping, fishing, and it always seemed like a pristine sanctuary. But this summer, now that I have really started looking, I can see the trash everywhere.
When I was first told about the project, I couldn't imagine finding as much trash as I have.The first time out, I really wasn't sure what to expect. I went to a popular swimming area, called elephant’s rock and was saddened by what I found. The amount of broken glass and cans was astounding; I even found a sleeping bag and raincoat that had washed on shore. The second time out was not better, I found double the amount I did the first time, with incredible amounts of foam and more tennis balls than I thought possible. These two trips made me feel disheartened. Not only was there more trash than I expected, but much was easily picked up by any person who cared enough to look. The idea of picking up hundreds of pieces of garbage everyday out for numerous days to come was overwhelming, and the challenge of stopping the behavior seemed unrealistic. 

Then yesterday, I went out again. I don’t know if it was because it was a perfect 80 degree Vermont summer day, or if it was just the spot I picked, but I found a fraction of what I had before. I got to see a crawfish slowly make its way across a rocky shore, a loon sit lazy on the water, and thousands of fish flutter around underneath my kayak. 

With any issue, there are always moments where it feels impossible, but even if it's incredibly hard, nothing will happen if we don't do anything. So I am now re-excited, re-motivated, to make a change, to pick up as much trash as I can, and spread the word ...
We Can Clean Our Oceans
A TEDx Talk on YouTube

Rachael Miller
Executive Director & Co-Founder
Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean
Cottonbrook Canoe Access
A Conversation Begins

In July, the Friends of Waterbury Reservoir hosted an informal “floating meeting” starting from at the Cottonbrook canoe access with representatives from VT State Parks and other stakeholders to begin a conversation about the parking area, roadway, aquatic invasive plants, trash and vandalism, and water quality at the access point which is located on the northern tip of the Reservoir on the Waterbury-Stowe town line.

Now THIS is our idea of a "conference room." Joining the humans on this afternoon: Bald Eagle, Great Blue Heron, Cormorant, Beavers, and a very lucky Bass.
To join the conversation about the ecological, recreational and
community values of the Waterbury reservoir, contact us.
Loons on the Reservoir
Message from Eric Hanson, Biologist & Director
VT Center for EcoStudies,  VT Loon Recovery Project
"Hello, FWR! Thanks for the photos and reports of loon sightings over the summer. Glad to know the reservoir is being used by loons. I did paddle the north end a few weeks ago and there are some potential natural nesting locations especially in and around some of the marshy areas. I think the increase in awareness that you've done will help a lot in May-June, if and when a loon pair actually forms and maybe nests.
The VT Loon Recovery Program will continue the policy we've had the past 10 years of not putting new rafts out until after the loons try nesting first on their own and repeatedly fail because of human activities (house nearby, dams and flooding).
 We're reaching saturation of loon pairs in north central and northeast Vermont, thus we really don't need to promote nesting and it's actually really good to have some larger waters without pairs occupying much of the water. It gives non-breeders a place to go."
Loon photo by Laurie Smith. Eric Hanson's photo by Gordon Miller. Re-use by permission only.
FWR Meeting Schedule, 2014 - 2015
Consider This Your Invitation to Join the Conversation
Green Mountain Club Hiker Center, Route 100, Waterbury Center

Wed. 10/15/2014
Wed. 11/19/2014
Wed. 12/17/2014
Wed. 1/21/2015
Wed. 2/18/2015
Wed. 3/18/2015
Wed. 4/15/2015
An agenda will be posted online a week ahead. 

Recurring topics: FWR Strategic planning, long-term project planning, collaboration with FPR and other stakeholders, and special event planning.

Special topics may be introduced at any time, and suggestions from members are welcome and encouraged. Some meetings will include guest speakers. Pre-registration may be requested if we anticipate a full house. 

FWR Board & Ambassadors executive sessions will be scheduled separately.
Postcard From Res
Those magical few moments when the warm early morning sun
rapidly burns away the dense overnight fog
About this month's cover photo: This Great Blue Heron is often found fishing in the marshy areas near the Cottonbrook Canoe Access

Legislative Update

The Vermont State Legislature adjourned in April, so there are no new Legislative Updates for this month. For 2013-2014 Legislative Session information, visit


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