Deer Brook Gully Restoration

Deer Brook, located in the towns of Georgia and Fairfax, flows into Arrowhead Mountain Lake, which is part of the Lamoille River, and ultimately drains to Lake Champlain. Deer Brook Gully, located near the intersection of State Routes 7 and 104A in Georgia, measures 60 feet deep and is the result of severe erosion from stormwater flows and corroding highway road culverts. It has caused Deer Brook to be considered a sediment-impaired stream. 

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Existing condition in the lower reach of Deer Brook gully, seen in November 2017. Gray-colored water in the channel is due to fine sediment transport during a moderate rain event. Photo courtesy of Stone Environmental.

Following the award of an Ecosystem Restoration Program grant in the fall of 2017, FNLC hired Stone Environmental to identify, design, and implement stormwater best management practices to address flows to the gully and stabilize the gully channel. The overall goal of the project is to reduce sediment transported from the gully to Deer Brook. 

In 2020, the first construction project of eight recommended practices was completed. Funding from VT DEC and Watersheds United Vermont Design and Implementation Block Grant allowed us to install a gravel wetland that will treat approximately 3100 cubic feet of stormwater from the surrounding impervious surfaces. It is estimated that this practice, through sediment sequestration and water treatment, will reduce phosphorus loading by 0.67 pounds per year. In December 2020, FNLC applied for and received a large grant from the VT Department of Environmental Conservation of $400,000 to install the remaining projects recommended in the 2019 Deer Brook Gully Remediation study completed by Stone Environmental.