Michael Dennis Browne (author) and Wendell Minor (illustrator).Give Her the River: A Father's Wish for his Daughter (Powell's
Books, $15.95). Mr. Minor, one of the leading book illustrators in the
U.S., donated a few copies of this book for a Rivers Alliance party, and they
were claimed immediately by parents and grandparents. The cover shows a father
and young daughter in a red canoe on a river; she is trailing her hand in the
water. People familiar with Washington, Connecticut and environs will recognize
many of the scenes. The text is a lyric tribute to a river in all times and
seasons, a dream by a father of all he would give his daughter. Rivers Alliance
of Connecticut has a limited number of copies of this book; for information, call
Mathias Collins, Kevin Lucey,
Beth Lambert, Jon Kachmar, James Turek, Eric Hutchins, Tim Purinton,
and David Neils of the NOAA Restoration Center, New Hampshire Coastal Program, Massachusetts
Riverways Program, Maine Coastal Program, and the New Hampshire Department of
Stream Barrier Removal
Monitoring Guide, available for download at
guide provides a
framework of critical monitoring parameters for use at dam and
culvert removal sites in the Gulf of Maine watershed. When
analyzed collectively, the eight parameters will allow
restoration practitioners to document the physical, chemical,
and biological effects of stream barrier removal. The guide is based on the input of more than 70 scientists,
natural resource managers, engineers, consultants, and staff
from non-governmental organizations in Massachusetts, Maine, New
Hampshire, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Final review was
sought from experts in barrier removal monitoring from outside
the Gulf of Maine region.
Tom Crider.A Nature Lover's Book of Quotations, with wood engravings by Thomas W.
Nason (Birch Tree Publishing, $20.90, call 203-267-6851). This beautifully
bound and produced volume is a fine gift for any lover of nature and language. Mr. Crider, who is the president of the
Roxbury Land Trust, is a writer widely recognized
in Connecticut as a dedicated conservationist.
de Boer, Jelle Zeilinga.New Haven’s Sentinels: The Art and Science
of East Rock and West Rock (Wesleyan University Press, $30), a new book
with photos by John Wareham. This beautifully produced volume is an excellent
gift for anyone interested in Connecticut’s unique geology, American landscape
painting, local history, and good stories. The author is Harold T. Stearns
Professor of Earth Science Emeritus at Wesleyan, and, we are proud to say, a
former director here at Rivers Alliance. His other books include Stories in
Stone: How Geology Influenced Connecticut History and Culture (a great read)
and, with Donald K. Sanders, Volcanoes in Human History: The Far-Reaching
Effects of Major Eruptions, and Earthquakes in Human History: The Far-Reaching
Effects of Seismic Disruptions.
Duncan, David James.My Story As Told By Water
(Sierra Club Books, $13.50). This collection of 22 essays, a National Book
Awards finalist, begins with Duncan’s early experiences with the rivers of the
Pacific Northwest and their endangered native salmon. It continues with essays
on bird watching (as a blood sport); dams as obsolete river-altering tools that
are more injurious than helpful; the absurdity of the 1872 Mining Act, which
still governs hard-rock mining; and a sparkling essay on the nature of the state
of wonder. Duncan, like the rivers he so loves, blends science, mysticism,
poetry, and logic to skillfully establish the connection between our
water-filled bodies and this water-covered planet.
Echeverria, Pope Barrow, and Richard Roos-Collins.
Rivers at Risk: Concerned Citizen's Guide To Hydropower (Island Press,
$40). Environmentally responsible hydropower is an
important issue for Rivers Alliance.
Getches.Water Law in a Nutshell (West Publishing Co., $27). This book is part of the Nutshell Series. Environmental Law
in a Nutshell, by Roger W. Findley, and Modern Public Land Law
in a Nutshell, by Robert L. Glicksman, are two other titles
from the series that are also pertinent to the issues
we tackle at Rivers Alliance.
Review by Richard Whiteford, Highlands Coalition).
Drafting a Conservation Blueprint
lays out a step-by-step planning process for conserving the biological diversity
of entire regions. In an engaging and accessible style, Groves explains how to
develop a regional conservation plan and offers experience-based guidance that
brings together relevant information from the fields of ecology, conservation
biology, planning, and policy. The book brings together a wide range of
information about conservation planning that is grounded in both strong
scientific foundation and in the realities of implementation. I highly recommend
this book for everyone in the environmental field.
Brendan and Nancy Hanrahan, editors, Great Day Trips series
(Perry Heights Press). The idea for this outstanding series of books on natural
history came to the Hanrahans when they were shopping in the store at the
Department of Environmental Protection. They thought, "There are reams of
wonderful information here. How can we get it to the public in an easily
readable, easily usable form? The resulting series of books offers delights for
the serious amateur scientist, as well great ideas for the harried parent
looking for new ideas for family outings. The books thus far are
Great Day Trips in the Connecticut Valley of the Dinosaurs (Road to Discovery Guides) ($19.95),
Great Day Trips Connecticut's Critical Habitats
Great Day Trips to Discover the Geology of Connecticut (Road to Discovery Guides)
($22.95), and Best Fishing Trips
from Ponds to Pounding Surf ($22.95). The authors of the
individual books are experts in their field, and the organization is
Palmer.Endangered Rivers and the Conservation Movement (Rowman
& Littlefield, $29.96). The author is famous for his books on
rivers, many gorgeously illustrated with his photographs.
Lifelines, The Case for River Conservation (Rowman &
Littlefield $26.95). This plain volume is one of our
favorites. It reminds us of the central role of rivers to
our lives and well being. This book is a must for anyone
who wants to present cogent arguments (economic as well as
ecological) for saving rivers. Rivers of America (Harry N.
Abrams $40) is Palmer's latest collection of photographs. Don Elder, the president of
River Network, says, "This book is
a remarkable celebration of America. In photographs and in
words, Tim Palmer has captured the magic and value of rivers
as nobody has ever done, and as nobody is ever likely to do
For more information, visit www.timpalmer.org.
Pearce, Fred.When the Rivers Run Dry: Water,
The Defining Crisis of the Twenty-First Century (Beacon Press, $16).
Mr. Pearce extensively researched our historical record of water management
worldwide when small-scale solutions met the needs of a much smaller population.
Then he details the disastrous consequences of our growing reliance on mega
projects to redistribute available water to greatly expanded urban populations.
He cites eye-opening data, not from manufacturing or household water
consumption, but from volumes of water needed to grow what we eat and drink. (It
takes 3,000 gallons of water to grow enough feed for a cow to make a
quarter-pound hamburger, and 2,650 gallons to make a one-pound bag of coffee.)
But these statistics are only an introduction to the catastrophic environmental
results from worldwide mega projects damming and diverting the water needed to
produce these crops. The ecological and cultural destruction resulting from
these projects is only overshadowed by their colossal failure. Pearce cites
hopeful alternatives all based on the premise that a river diverted or dammed
becomes a river dying.
Alex Prud'Homme.The Ripple Effect: The Fate of
Freshwater in the Twenty-First Century(Scribner, 2011, $17
softcover, $30 hardcover) vividly portrays rising threats to the quantity and
quality of freshwater around the world and possible solutions. The book was
inspiration for Participant Media's documentary film "Last Call at the Oasis."
The book is available from independent book stores as well as major booksellers.
Alex Prud'Homme has written numerous magazine articles for major periodicals,
including the New Yorker, Time, BusinessMonth, People, and Vanity Fair. His
books include The Cell Game and Julia Child's memoir, My Life in
France, which was used as inspiration for the Nora Ephrom film "Julie &
Julia." For more information, visit
Robert Satter.Under the Gold
Dome: An Insider's Look at the Connecticut Legislature (Connecticut
Conference of Municipalities, $22.95). Judge Satter knows the law and the
legislature from inside out. This book looks at history and process, with lots
of illustrative anecdotes and plenty of humor. If you want to be taken
seriously by legislators, take an hour or two to learn more about their world. The book
received high marks from the Hartford Courant.
James Gustave Speth.Red Sky
at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment
(Yale University Press, $21). In Connecticut, we know Gus Speth particularly as
dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. He
is also an international leader on the environment; an advisor to presidents
Carter and Clinton; founder and past president of the World Resources Institute;
co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council; and winner of the prestigious
Blue Planet Award. So what does he tell presidents (those who want to listen): "Red sky at morning, sailors take warning." We are into a red-sky global
environmental crisis. The crisis may come in devastating crashes. This book
gives us the data we need to understand our plight; it explains why and how our
leaders have failed to respond to the crisis, and lays out the steps we must
take to avoid catastrophe.
Tukey.The Organic Lawn Care Manual (Storey Publishing,
$19.95). This is a fantastic book for rehabilitating once chemical-dependant
lawns and for basic lawn maintenance. It features a forward by Nell Newman,
president of Newman's Own Organics.
Donald Watson, FAIA, and Michele Adams, PE. Design for Flooding:
Architecture, Landscape, and Urban Design for Resilience to Climate Change (John Wiley &
Sons, 2011, 298 pps, $85) is an
extraordinarily useful and well-written book for anyone interested in water
patterns and water management in a changing world. The subtitle accurately indicates that the book is
especially for architects, planners, landscapers, engineers, and others who work
on water management in a time of climate change. But it is also a fascinating read and
"look" (the illustrations are fabulous) for any person curious about water and
The book is unusual in stating in plain language the planetary
importance of water, and then scoping down from the stratospheric view to
different levels of exposition, down to the details of climate change and
water-management design. This is a great book.
Don Watson, a Connecticut man and member of Rivers Alliance (we are proud to
say), is former chair of the Yale School of Architecture Environmental Design
Program, and former professor and dean of the School of Architecture at
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Michele Adams, a water resources engineer, is founder of Meliora Environmental
Design in Pennsylvania.
U.S. EPA Manuals
Under a cooperative
agreement from EPA's Office of Wastewater Management and Office of Wetlands,
Oceans, and Watersheds, the Center for Watershed Protection has published
a series of 11 manuals, which CWP has dubbed
"Urban Subwatershed Restoration Manual Series." CWP states that the series is
designed to provide a stronger foundation to assist local and state managers in
crafting urban watershed restoration plans. The manuals were written to
"organize the enormous amount of information needed to restore small urban
watersheds into a format that can be easily accessed by watershed groups,
municipal staff, environmental consultants and other users."
Each of these is
approximately 100 pages long, and some also include a CD with software to enable
data collection and storage.
The eleven manuals are:
1. An Integrated Framework
to Restore Small Urban Watersheds
2. Methods to Develop
Restoration Plans for Small Urban Watersheds
3. Storm Water Retrofit
4. Stream Repair and
5. Riparian Management
6. Discharge Prevention
7. Previous Area
8. Pollution Source
9. Municipal Practices and
10. The Unified Stream
Assessment: A User's Manual
11. The Unified
Subwatershed and Site Reconnaissance: A User's Manual
Northeast has published good reports on global warming, including three
specifically for CT. Their website is
www.env-ne.org. Click on Research Reports; you will be asked for some
information before the reports come up.
The Rivers Alliance brochure on the importance of
river buffers is available in a new edition, funded by the Sweet Water Trust. Contributions
welcome. For information on how to obtain copies, call 860-361-9349 or e-mail us at
The answer is TechSoup. The web address is
www.techsoup.org. They have other technology resources, too.
Environmental GIS Data for Connecticut
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental
Protection (DEEP) has published "Environmental GIS
Data for Connecticut," a set of 7 groundbreaking CDs that contain environmental
Geographic Information System (GIS) based data for the entire state of
Connecticut. Now users can have environmental GIS data for the state available
at home, school, work or wherever their laptops take them. For anyone who uses
environmental data in their day-to-day life, or for those looking to learn more
about their state and environment, this CD set is an invaluable tool.
The CD set will allow a variety of users to create their own digital map of
Connecticut that can display any number of features, including lake location and
bathymetry, roads, aquifer protection areas, DEEP properties, airports, sewer
service areas - even Legislative House and Senate Districts. This is but a
sampling of the range of data contained in the CD set. This CD
set allows the user to view any portion of Connecticut. It gives them the
ability to zoom in for close-ups and systematically pan along any area of
interest and print maps as needed.
The GIS data on the CD set is in ESRI shapefile format, which can be viewed
using the free ArcExplorer mapping software that is also included on the CD set.
The CDs also come with easy-to-understand instructions, as well as tutorial
links to further enhance the user's ability to get the most out of this
exhaustive collection of data and software. Also included with the
CD set is the ability for the user to receive future GIS information updates at
no extra charge.
The GIS data in the set was contributed by the CT DEEP, Office of Policy and
Management, University of Connecticut, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S.
Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Geological Survey.
The CDs are available for purchase at the DEEP Store, 79 Elm Street, Hartford
06106. The cost is $29.95 per set, plus $7.65 for shipping and tax. Please make
checks payable to DEEP. The DEEP Store is open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday
through Thursday. The guide can also be purchased by phone at 860-424-3555 or online
Manual for Protecting
"Best Development Practices: Conserving Pool-Breeding Amphibians in
Residential and Commercial Developments in the Northeastern United States"
is designed for local planners, preservationists, and builders. Vernal pools are small woodland wetlands that
tend to have water in winter and spring and then dry up in summer. They are
among the richest and most important wetlands in terms of biodiversity. Many
vernal pools are too small to be protected by local wetlands ordinances, and
local ordinances that do protect them tend not to also protect the adjacent land
that is just as crucial to the pools' productivity.
The manual was written by Michael W. Klemens, Ph.D., of the Metropolitan
Conservation Alliance/Wildlife Conservation Society, and Aram
J.K. Calhoun, Ph.D., of the Maine Audubon Society and the University of Maine. The manual is easy to read, contains useful full-color photos and illustrations
and, most importantly, is a practical guide to be used locally.
River Guide to Lower
Connecticut River. Tidewaters of the Connecticut River, an Explorer's Guide to Hidden
Coves and Marshes is the work of more than a dozen experts...discussing the river's
natural history and a guide to paddling. The book provides canoe and kayak
access points to each of 12 destinations described in detail. For more
information, call 1-866-598-0158. Proceeds go to the
CT River Watershed
Council to benefit conservation and protection programs on the river. You can order
the book from CTRW's online store at