Missisquoi River Basin Association
A Vermont/Quebec Watershed Alliance
in the Lake Champlain Basin
Wild + Scenic
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The Missisquoi River Basin Association (MRBA) is an active non-profit group of volunteers dedicated to the restoration of the river, its tributaries, and Missisquoi Bay, and to the clean, healthy state they once enjoyed. We bring together diverse interest groups within the community – teachers, farmers, summer residents, loggers, business owners, environmental experts, and outdoor enthusiasts; municipal officers, woodland owners, and concerned citizens.
Our activities are many and varied – from fieldwork to stabilize stream banks, and planting trees in buffer areas, to assessing stream bank conditions. We clean up trash along the banks, cost-share with farmers in a nutrient management program, lend educational tools to local teachers, and are launching a volunteer-led water sampling program.
Missisquoi Bay drains 1,200 square miles of northwestern Vermont and southern Quebec. Almost sixty percent of the drainage area is in Vermont.
With headwaters in Lowell, Vermont, the Missisquoi River flows north into Quebec where the Missisquoi Nord joins the main stem at Highwater, Quebec. The Missiquoi then returns to Vermont at East Richford and flows west to drain in Missisquoi Bay.
In addition to draining the Missisquoi River’s 88-mile course and its over 50-miles of tributaries (Black Creek, Trout River, the Tyler Branch, and Mud Creek), Missisquoi Bay also drains the Pike and Rock Rivers.
Our land use practices over the past centuries in the watershed have led to a degradation of the water quality in the river and the bay. Missisquoi Bay alone now accounts for over one third of all the non-point source phosphorus in Lake Champlain, more than all the other Vermont watersheds put together!
Phosphorus runoff, which comes from many sources including eroding stream banks and a lack of buffers on worked fields, promotes excessive algae growth and impairs water quality. Algae blooms in the bay in recent years have been severe enough to close beaches, impact tourism, and in some cases kill pets.
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Missisquoi River Basin Association 9534 Route 36 - Unit 5 East Fairfield, VT 05448