The Missisquoi River runs for approximately 88 miles. From the headwaters in Lowell, Vermont, it flows north into Quebec where Missisquoi Nord joins the main stem at Highwater, QC. The river then returns to Vermont in East Richford and flows west to drain into the Missisquoi Bay of Lake Champlain. There are five major subwatersheds that drain into the Missisquoi River: Hungerford Brook, Black Creek, Tyler Branch, Trout River, and Mud Creek.
The Missisquoi Bay drains 1,200 square miles of northwestern Vermont and southern Quebec. Almost sixty percent of the drainage area is in Vermont. The Pike and Rock Rivers also drain into the Missisquoi Bay.
Our land use practices over the past few centuries have caused degraded water quality in the Missisquoi River and Bay. The Missisquoi Bay now accounts for over one third of all non-point source phosphorus in Lake Champlain. The Phase 1 Implementation Plan for the new Phosphorus TMDL for Lake Champlain calls for a 75% reduction in phosphorus inputs into Missisquoi Bay- significantly more than any other section of the lake.
Phosphorus runoff promotes excessive algae growth and impairs water quality. Algae blooms can cause human illness and death, harm aquatic species, degrade the environment, and negatively impact tourism.
This picture outlines the Missisquoi watershed that MRBA works to preserve and restore.