Rivers Alliance of Connecticut is the only statewide nonprofit dedicated to protecting and enhancing Connecticut's rivers, streams, and watersheds. We promote and support environmentally sound state policies, assist the state's many watershed and river groups, and educate the public about the importance of water conservation and aquatic habitats. We are a membership-based nonprofit corporation founded in 1992. Our 600 members include 100 organizations.
Rivers Alliance seeks to protect Connecticut's rivers, streams, and watersheds by:
Building Coalitions, Encouraging Collaboration: Coordinating the efforts of the state's many river and watershed groups
Strengthening the Grassroots: Supporting and providing resources to local river conservation organizations and activists
Promoting Sound Public Policy: Encouraging supportive state laws, regulations, and programs regarding water allocation, watershed planning, and river protection
Educating the Public: Providing speakers, holding conferences, and creating informational materials on the importance of river preservation and restoration
Awards and Honors
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
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 policy leader.
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 Regina.
----- Board and Staff of Rivers Alliance of Connecticut, June 5, 2012
Timeline: 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
BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF RIVERS ALLIANCE OF CONNECTICUT
Eileen Fielding (President) is the Executive Director of the Farmington River Watershed Association.
James S. McInerney (Treasurer) is the retired Chairman of the BHC Company (formerly, Bridgeport Hydraulic Company), a Board Member of the Housatonic Valley Association, and Vice-Chairman of the Water Pollution Control Authority in Norwalk.
David Bingham, M.D. (Secretary) is a member of the Eight Mile River Wild & Scenic Study Committee and a Board Member of the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters. He also serves on the Salem Planning and Zoning commission, where he is working to develop the town's Conservation and Development Plan, and the Salem Land Trust.
Bill Anthony is a Director of Friends of Outer Island and a Director of Flanders Nature Center.
Patricia Bresnahan is Secretary of the Willimantic River Alliance
James Creighton is the treasurer of the Mattabesset River Watershed Association and is an Environmental Analyst in the Permitting and Enforcement Bureau of Water Management at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).
Martin Mador is a Director of the Quinnipiac River Watershed Association, a director and co-founder of the Mill River Watershed Association, and a member of the Hamden Natural Resource and Open Space.
Sarah Martin is a principal and founder of Hays Worthington.
Dwight H. Merriam is a partner in the law firm Robinson & Cole, teaches at Vermont Law School, and is recognized nationally as an expert in zoning and other aspects of land-use law.
David Radka is Director of Water Resources, Connecticut Water Company.
Jacqueline Talbot is the River Steward for the Connecticut River Watershed Council.
Lynn Werner is the Executive Director of the Housatonic Valley Association and the co-chairman of the Rivers Advisory Committee.
Richard Windels is co-founder and president of Friends of Goodwives River in Darien. He has a background in international real estate.
The Late Marc Taylor, M.D., President of the Housatonic Valley Association, a Board Member of the Southbury Land Trust, and founder and co-chairman of the Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition.
Margaret Miner, Executive Director
Rose Guimaraes, Development & Programs Director
Diane Edwards, Program Consultant
Tony Mitchell, Website Manager
Policies and Projects
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 Conservation Voters.
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 folks.
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.