Essex County Natural Resources

Conservation District

Watershed Resources

Essex County Watersheds

Click to view map

A watershed is an area of land that drains into a water body.

The majority of Essex County drains into the Connecticut River. The river, once called Quinatuquet by Native Americans, is a cultural and ecological resource and asset that binds the region.

The River is part of Vermont’s Basin 16 Upper Connecticut River watershed planning unit. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the County has a total area of 674 mi 1.27% is water.

The watershed is predominately mountainous forest lands and wetlands including fast areas of state and federal lands. The river valley floodplains have some of the richness agricultural soil on the continent and are where the most of the county’s agricultural activity occurs. According tot he 2012 Agricultural Census 47.1% of farm land is woodland in the county, 31.5% is Cropland and 21.5% is other use. These forests, wetlands, floodplains and agricultural lands are regionaly very valuable fish and wildlife habitat that  serve to naturally improve water quality while providing integral livelihood in our communities. 

Through coordination with our state, federal, and private partners, landowners and municipalities we promote the health and function of the forests, the rivers, and the communities that work with in them by continuing restoration, water quality and agricultural BMP projects throughout the county.

The portions of watershed have been assessed with geomorphic assessments, water quality monitoring, stormwater planning and Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination infrastructure mapping.  Stream geomorphic assessment (SGA) data was collected by the Essex County NRCD and the Connecticut River Joint Commission. Phase 1 assessments, done by ECNRCD, have been conducted on Leach Stream, Keyer Brook, Capon Brook, Willard Stream and the Nullhegan River. This data along with DEC Basin Plans are used by us and other conservation partners to prioritize water quality restoration and protection projects.

Passumpsic and Upper Connecticut River Tactical Basin Plan.

Fluvial Geomorphology Assessment of the Northern Connecticut River, Vermont and New Hampshire