Buffers for Blue Lakes
Federation of Vermont Lakes and Ponds

Protecting water quality in Vermont lakes

The Vermont Federation of Vermont Lakes and Ponds (FOVLAP) secured a series of small grants from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources to improve lake water quality. This volunteer “group of local lake and pond associations, individuals and others interested in promoting and maintaining the quality of the environment of, and the pleasure of living near and using, Vermont’s lakes and ponds” needed to develop outreach education materials for Vermont’s lake and pond associations to promote shoreland protection for water quality.

The Challenge

How can we motivate Vermont waterfront property owners to voluntarily maintain vegetative buffers to protect water quality and provide essential wildlife habitat?

Insight: Property owners want to preserve water quality without losing views or water access.

Working with a volunteer group to conduct primary research and then based on the research results, develop the priority tools for the member lake associations.

buffers for blue lakes program identifyer


Engage waterfront property owners through their lake and pond associations to enable small group discussions about water quality issues and easy to implement improvements.

Create easy to understand fact sheets and “how-to” project sheets to install vegetative shoreland buffers as the most effective
protection for water quality, lake ecosystems, and essential wildlife habitats.

Use grant funds and partner with a nursery supplier to provide low cost and no-cost native plants for property owners to create shoreline buffers.


How We Helped

We worked with the Federation of Vermont Lakes and Ponds to update its website and develop the Buffers for Blue Lakes program. The program provides information and resources to waterfront property owners and lake associations to improve water quality.


  • Homeowners learned the importance of lake buffers and how to implement them, and proudly displayed yard signs when they installed buffers.
  • Lake associations have the tools to promote buffers for water quality.
  • Water quality improvements for Vermont lakes and ponds.

Buffers for blue lakes yard sign