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Connecticut's United Voice for River Conservation

 
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WATERSHED ASSISTANCE SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM (WASGP)

WATERSHED ASSISTANCE SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM

 

Round 2 Projects

 

 

 

02-09-A  Branford River Project. Project titled: “Branford River Project Monitoring Expansion”.  Grant Amount:  $2,000. 

The Branford River Project (BRP) is a collaborative project between the Branford Land Trust and the Branford Rotary Club.  The waters that flow from the Branford River into Long Island Sound are important to shell fishermen, recreational users, and wildlife such as osprey and alewife.  Land use pressures in the watershed create a river that is subject to a wide range of pollutants that could negatively impact human and aquatic habitat health.  BRP monitors water quality of the river in 6 locations for a variety of parameters. 

 

The WASG funding that BRP received was instrumental in upgrading much needed monitoring equipment that will aid the group to collect data for many years to come.  With the purchase of new colorimeters and DO meters, the monitoring time per trip was cut in half.  This has helped the group to recruit volunteers to help with sampling and decreased the number of errors in data collected.  As with any project dependent on volunteers, recruiting enough volunteer help is a challenge.  BRP feels that the new equipment, collaboration with the local high school, more advance notice to volunteers about sampling trips & dates, and continued efforts to recruit more members will address this problem.  A Power Point presentation of monitoring data collected during the “monitoring expansion” was presented to the Conservation Commission in the spring of 2007.  Future plans include adding a seventh location, testing for bacteria, and conducting surveys for invasive plants.

 

 

02-09-B  CT Conservation Association (CCA).  Project titled: “Create a Greater Bridgeport Watershed Alliance”.  Grant Amount: $4,000. 

The group received WASG funding to evaluate the need for a Greater Bridgeport region watershed alliance.  Power Point presentation on the nine small watersheds was completed and presented to stakeholders at two meetings (August 1st and 3rd, 2005).  Rivers Alliance met with Mike Aurelia and Chris Malik on September 13, 2005 to discuss future plans of the project and whether or not a “Greater Bridgeport Watershed Alliance” would be established.  As a result of the stakeholder meetings, CCA found that there wasn’t significant interest in creating a brand new group.  However, there was considerable interest in hiring a coordinator to bring together the activities of the groups already working on specific watershed issues in the region.  CCA is poised to fill this need.  In order to facilitate better communication between groups, CCA will set up a “yahoo group” for stakeholders to discuss issues affecting the nine watersheds and as a means to possibly seek collaboration on projects in the region.  CCA’s future plans include educating the public on the importance of these nine watersheds, providing expert testimony when needed, and developing training materials with Connecticut Association of Conservation and Inland Wetland Commissions (CACIWC) for inland wetland & watercourse commissioners in the region.

 

 

 

02-09-C  Cromwell Watershed Conservation Committee (CWCC).  Project titled: “Cromwell Watersheds Display”.  Grant Amount: $1,200.  Project sponsored by the Mattabesset River Watershed Association.  CWCC was formed in 2002 in response to the Mattabesset River Watershed Management Plan.  One of the goals of the plan was to educate the residents and increase public awareness about the rivers (Connecticut & Mattabesset Rivers) and streams within the town of Cromwell.  CWCC with funding from WASG program felt that the best way to achieve this goal was to create a town specific watershed display.  The group collaborated with CT River Coastal Conservation District, MRWA, the Nature Conservancy, and the town of Cromwell to acquire information needed to create the display (i.e. GIS maps, aerial photos, other river photos, color images & graphs).  The group plans to place the display at the town hall.  Rivers Alliance also suggested to CWCC that they identify some other groups in the area that they can collaborate with to make sure that the display is placed in several public spaces. 

 

 

 

02-09-E  Friends of the Hockanum River Linear Park (FHRLP).  Project titled: “Natural Resource Assessment of the Tankerhoosan River Headwaters Region”.  Grant Amount: $3,000.  Because of the environmental significance and pristine conditions in the upper reaches of the Tankerhoosen River Watershed,  FHRLP hired a wildlife biologist, Jane Seymour, to do a natural resource inventory.  The resource survey found approximately eighty bird species, ten species of amphibians (most abundant being the northern redback salamander), and two species of reptiles.  The area was also surveyed for dragonflies and damselflies (Ebony jewelwing, River jewelring, and brown darner were found.)  Also, riffle dwelling stream invertebrates were collected in several different locations to assess water quality.  This natural resource assessment, funded through the WASG program, was a catalyst in the formulation and direction of a larger watershed assessment that is being undertaken by FHRLP, the Vernon Conservation Commission, the Hockanum River Watershed Association, and the North Central Conservation District.  The grant received for this project established credibility and provided the stimulus for embarking on a larger assessment, and for bringing in other partners. 

 

 

 

02-09-H  Mianus River Watershed Council (MRWC).  Project titled: “Strategic Planning for the Mianus River Watershed Council”.  Grant Amount: $4,000.  Project led by Denise Savageau & Jack Stoecker.  MRWC is a 501 (c)(3) formed in 1990 by concerned citizens in both New York and Connecticut to maintain and preserve the natural, historical, and recreational resources along the Mianus River and its tributaries.  With support from the WASG program, the group hired a consultant to help the organization develop a strategic plan.  This plan has been used by the organization and its board of directors to guide its efforts in the last year and a half.  As a result of its more focused mission, MRWC developed a color brochure and a website (http://www.mianusriver.org) to promote the new goals of the organization to the public.  MRCW is well on its way to increasing community involvement (through a membership and volunteer drive), attracting additional board members, and educating the public about the importance of the Mianus River Watershed.

 

 

 

02-09-I  Naugatuck River Watershed Asssociation (NRWA) and Naugatuck-Pomperaug Trout Unlimited.  Project titled: “Naugatuck River Watershed River Steward”.  Grant Amount: $6,000.  NRWA hired a new steward, Robette Schmit, who is hardworking, alert and dedicated.  Most of her efforts have focused on the Naugatuck River Watershed Website development & management (http://www.naugawatshed.org), the Naugatuck River Assessment & Management Plan, outreach, and office duties which included preparation for public meetings.  Some of the monitoring river projects have included a by-pass dam and fish ladder and a possible dam removal (Pin Shop Pond) in Torrington.  Robette also worked on mapping, re-establishing a rapid bio-assessment program, and fundraising.  NRWA, like so many other groups, has faced challenges in fundraising and being able to financially support staff positions.  The group hopes to continue to make progress in this area (public outreach, grants, and exploring other revenue streams). 

 

 

Rivers Alliance of Connecticut
PO Box 1797, 7 West Street 3rd Floor, Litchfield, CT 06759-1797
860-361-9349
rivers@riversalliance.org, www.riversalliance.org