DO NOT SWIM! Vermont waters are currently unsafe. Due to significant rain and flooding in most of Vermont on July 10th, with rains continuing on July 11th, currents are very strong. Also, most rivers are filled with debris, effluent, chemicals, fertilizers, etc. and are unsafe for swimming.
Woman looking through binoculars.

Who We Are


Our Mission

We protect and restore rivers for people and wildlife.

Our Vision

We’re working towards a time when a drop of water that falls anywhere in the Green Mountains flows through mossy old forests and beaver-filled wetlands, down cool clear streams home to otter and brook trout, past communities where broad floodplains create space for rivers to meander and shift over time, and into a clean Lake Champlain, Lake Memphremagog, Connecticut River, or Hudson River. We envision a future where people from all walks of life have access to rivers for recreation and quiet enjoyment, and value rivers as a source of clean water to their family’s tap, healthy habitat for abundant wildlife, and a source of wellbeing essential to their daily lives.

Our Plan

Fall 2023, our board and staff circled round a living room with views of the Dog River, the site of Vermont River Conservancy’s very first conservation project nearly 30 years ago. One board member had spent the day jumping into Mad River swimming holes, another shared tales of angling on the White, and many of us shared stories of tragedy and hope in the wake of summer floods.

Gathered to create a strategic plan that will guide our work over the next several years, we collectively drew on our experiences with rivers as we listened to one another, reflected on conversations with partners and communities, and gave our flip charts, markers, and dot stickers a workout.

The result is a 5-year strategic plan that refines our focus to protect and restore to achieve healthier, climate resilient rivers, connect communities, volunteers, and partners to this work, and strengthen the behind-the-scenes systems and tactics to keep us efficient and effective. We’re thrilled to share the plan here, and invite you to help support this critical work.

Our Story

Our work started nearly 30 years ago, when Vermont River Conservancy protected its first swimming hole, a place on the Dog River that had hosted generations of swimmers cooling off, anglers casting for trout, and paddlers launching kayaks. When private landowners threatened to post “no trespassing” signs, a group of volunteers stepped in to secure public access, forever. From this, Vermont River Conservancy was born, growing to protect more than 50 miles of shoreline for people and wildlife. We continue in this tradition today, working to make sure all people, no matter their background, can access a most universal resource — water — for swimming, angling, and paddling.

We look to the future knowing that every climate change model predicts Vermont will see more floods and more droughts, impacts that are absorbed by our rivers and felt by our communities. This is where we operate – at the nexus of land, water, and communities – lending urgency to our work. To maximize our impact, we’re enacting strategic conservation priorities rooted in climate science, mapping, local relationships, and field-truthed data. From this, we work in communities big and small to protect floodplains, wetlands, and headwater forests. We contract with “big yellow trucks” to restore floodplains or remove dams – projects that connect wildlife habitat and keep downtowns safer during floods.

Kids jump into a Vermont swimming hole.
People reviewing mapping data in the field.


Make sure kids, wildlife, and communities
can always enjoy the rivers you love.