The Giving Stream: A Three-Part Series by Emma Cotton

About this series:


Week 1 (Sept. 5) — The Otter Creek, Vermont’s longest river, runs through the state’s most heavily cultivated land, and thereby contributes more non-point source phosphorus pollution to Lake Champlain than any other source in Vermont, New York or Quebec. In this segment, we’ll look at the development of this problem and its potential solutions. Read Part I, "The Otter Creek's legacy is commerce -- and pollution."


Week 2 (Sept. 12) — Vermont’s Clean Water Act (2015) has established regulatory and incentive-driven programs to address the web of nuanced water quality issues in the state. Here, we’ll discuss the Clean Water Act as it applies to the Otter Creek basin, and dive into the assembly of Otter Creek’s 2019 basin plan, which becomes available for public on October 1. Read Part II, "The Clean Water Act sets goals for Otter Creek, but is it enough?"


Week 3 (Sept. 19) — Alongside pressures like falling milk prices and increasing production costs, farmers are charged with the financial, physical and emotional task of remediating Otter Creek’s water quality. What does this mean for Addison County farmers, and is their burden a fair one? Read Part III, "What do Act 64 regulations mean for Addison County farmers?"


On September 19, Emma Cotton discussed her story on VPR News. Listen to the show, "The Otter Creek's Role in Vermont's History and Environmental Health."


In this first-person essay, Emma reflects on her experience reporting this series.


Emma Cotton can be reached at

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

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