Our mission is to protect all the waters of Connecticut: surface
waters, aquifers, and wetlands. We promote and support good water
policies statewide; we assist environmental groups, businesses, and
individuals who seek to improve the quality of local waters. We offer
educational services for experts and beginners alike.
This statement serves as the underpinning for the organization and all of our work.
What We Do
Policy Action Goals. Rivers Alliance has always
vigorously promoted public policies for protection and restoration of
healthy flows in all the state's waterways. As a result, in 2005
Connecticut passed vanguard legislation requiring the Connecticut
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to adopt flow
standards for all rivers and streams. Recently we have extended our
action goals to protection of both the quantity and quality of
headwaters and groundwater. These undervalued and often neglected
resources are essential to the water future of this state.
Policy Leadership. As policy leaders, we serve
as co-chair of the state Water Planning Council Advisory Group; a member
of the state Recreation and Natural Heritage Trust Advisory Board, a
member of the Clean Water Coalition (funding for sewage treatment); a
member of the CT DEEP Commissioner's Policy Work Group for stream-flow
regulation; a member of the Pesticides Coalition; a member of the
Greater New Haven Community Foundation's Advisory Board for the
Quinnipiac River Fund; and a director of the Connecticut League of
Small Grants Program. This is a re-granting
program funded through the Environmental Protection Agency and the CT
DEEP. In the first five rounds we supported projects from more than
40 environmental groups, many of them new. In 2011 we disbursed over
$50,000 to 11 groups across the state. We will release a new request for
proposals later this year.
Connecticut Watershed Conservation Network. This
Rivers Alliance program runs conferences twice annually, communicates
throughout the network by email year-round, and maintains a website of
conservation news. Our 120-plus members include people from state
agencies, environmental groups, recreational groups, and just plain
Fighting City Hall. Rivers Alliance believes you can fight
City Hall and win, or at least minimize losses. We assist
individuals and organizations that, in the face of daunting opposition,
are trying to protect the state's waters. We manage a Help Line
(860-361-9349) to assist individuals and groups who are in a fight to
protect water resources. If the cause is good, it becomes our cause.
Education. We publish educational materials,
including our popular buffers brochure; speak to small and large groups
across the state; and stage major conferences on subjects of wide
interest, for example, Electric Industry Deregulation: Implications for
Water; Streamflow: Science and Policy; Connecticut Water Law; Hydropower
in New England; and Risks, Rewards, and and Recreational Liability. We
have researched and published learning materials on science topics
that did not have information readily available to the general public.
These materials include Nitrogen and Phosphorus: Friends AND Foes! and ON-SITE WASTEWATER MANAGEMENT IN CONNECTICUT: THE ROLE OF ADVANCED TREATMENT SYSTEMS (ATS)
Board of Directors
Eileen Fielding (President) is the Executive Director of the Farmington River Watershed Association.
Lynn Werner (Vice-President) is the Executive
Director of the Housatonic Valley Association and the co-chairman of the
Rivers Advisory Committee.
James S. McInerney (Treasurer) is the retired
Chairman of the Aquarion Water Company, was a Board Member of the
Housatonic Valley Association, and Vice-Chairman of the Water Pollution
Control Authority in Norwalk.
Bill Anthony is a Director of Friends of Outer Island and a Director of Flanders Nature Center.
Alicea Charamut, our newest board member (elected
April 15, 2015), is the Connecticut River Watershed Association's River
Steward for the lower Connecticut River.
James Creighton is an Environmental Analyst in the
Permitting and Enforcement Bureau of Water Management at the Department
of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).
Sharon Lewis is the Executive Director of the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice
Martin Mador is a Legislative Chair of the Connecticut Chapter of the Sierra Club.
Sarah Martin is a principal and founder of Hays Worthington.
Dwight H. Merriam is a partner in the law firm
Robinson & Cole, taught at Vermont Law School, and is recognized
nationally as an expert in zoning and other aspects of land-use
David Radka is Director of Water Resources, Connecticut Water Company.
Hugh Rogers is an educator and fisherman and researcher and ...
Richard Windels is co-founder and president of Friends of Goodwives River in Darien. He has a background in international real estate.
Hugh Rogers was elected to the Board of Directors in December, 2016
Hugh Rogers, a retired public school teacher, has had a lifelong
interest in rivers and the natural world. As a former board member
of the Washington Environmental Council, he reviewed and selected
student applicants for scholarships and worked with public schools on
planning and implementation of cooperative natural science
initiatives. He is a graduate of Outward Bound and is a Master of
Wildlife Conservation. Before joining the Rivers Alliance board,
he served the organization with work on efforts to limit the use of
pesticides on athletic fields and legislation advocacy. He is an
avid flyfisher and is often found on the Shepaug River.
Montgomery Hare Environmental Defender Award, Housatonic Valley Association, 2009
Clyde O. Fisher Award, CT Bar Association, Environmental Section, 2008
Annual Award, Willimantic River Watershed Association, 2006
Conservation Advocate Award, NW Conservation District, 2005
Leadership Award, CT Fund for the Environment, 2005
Leadership Award, Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition, 2004
Award for work on the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA), Connecticut Fund for the Environment, 2002
Friend of the River Award, Housatonic Valley Asssociation, 2001
Environmental Merit Award, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2000
Outstanding River Advocate Award, American Rivers, 1993
Marc Taylor, M.D. 1937-2012
We announce with deep sorrow the death of our director Marc
Taylor, M.D., on June 5. He was a friend of rivers across the country,
but especially here in Connecticut. He was an engineer, physician, Yale
professor, woodworker, outdoorsman, fun host, family man, and, above
all, in his years of partial retirement, a supremely energetic and
dedicated advocate for rivers and clean water. Inspired in part by the
lovely, small Pomperaug River in his own backyard in Southbury, CT, Marc
became within a few years a nationally respected river expert and
He co-founded the Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition, with a focus
on good science and cooperative stewardship. The organization has
developed sophisticated water-science for use by local decision makers.
He was active in the land trust, because the health of land and water
are mutually linked. Extending his advocacy from town to state, to
region, to nation, he became a director and officer of Rivers Alliance
of Connecticut, president of the Housatonic Valley Association, and then
president of River Network, based in Portland, Oregon. He remained an
active and extraordinarily helpful participant in all these groups. He
never gave up on a cause; he just worked harder. He was modest and
quiet, willing to sit through long meetings if he thought it would help a
river or river group. But he wasn't shy about approaching prominent
leaders in the public and private sector with the message that rivers
are the lifelines of the country, and must be protected and supported.
He was given numerous awards and honors, but the accomplishment he
valued highest was persuading groups with apparently different interests
that we all depend on water, and we all should work together.
Many of our members and friends have sent remembrances, and we are
collecting and binding these for his wife, Jan, and daughters, Ann and
----- Board and Staff of Rivers Alliance of Connecticut, June 5, 2012
Marc Taylor was born in 1936, and grew up outside New York City. He
learned to canoe as a boy scout. He attended Amherst College, worked
briefly as an engineer, and then enrolled in Columbia University Medical
School. He did his internship, residency, and post-doctoral fellowship
at Yale University Medical School. He did important research on liver
function, taught at Yale, had a large private practice, and in his
so-called retirement he was medical director of an extended care
facility. Most of this time, however, was spent on river advocacy and
science, as described above. He was fully active in this second
avocation until pancreatic cancer and an infection took him away in just
a few weeks.
His family can be reached at POB 814, Southbury CT 06488 or at the email of his son in law, email@example.com