Starting the New Year with great news for clean streams!
Thursday, January 2, 2014
HVA has received generous grants for five projects that will benefit wildlife in and around rivers and streams and help youngsters become good river stewards.
HVA has been awarded a $21,535 grant from the Connecticut Community Foundation (CCF) on behalf of the Aspetuck Pomperaug River Partners to expand its RiverSmart campaign to help more people learn how to be river-friendly in the Aspetuck and Pomperaug river watersheds and beyond.
This will help native brook trout in the Aspetuck and help keep the streams clean in the Pomperaug Watershed which provides household water.
The RiverSmart initiative was launched in 2012 with seed funding from CCF and the Ellen Knowles Harcourt Foundation. For information on how you can be more RiverSmart, visit APRiverPartners.org.
HVA is developing a hands-on watershed science education program for students at Housatonic Valley Regional High School (HVRHS). The program is partially funded by the Armand M. Oppenheimer Environmental Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.
The program will increase students’ awareness of their local watershed and threats to local freshwater resources. Through demonstrations and engagement in real world projects, students will learn how to combine hands-on science with technology to protect the water resources in two local streams.
HVA will work with Trout Unlimited, HVRHS, and the University of Connecticut Natural Resources Academy to design and implement a program to have high school Natural Resources students construct stream restoration projects and monitor water quality along the Salmon Kill.
The Connecticut Community Foundation (CCF) gave HVA a $6,000 grant on behalf of the Naugatuck River Greenway Steering Committee (NRGSC) to expand river-based recreational opportunities information on river-based recreational opportunities on the Naugatuck River Web site.
The site was launched in May 2012 with seed funding from CCF and local sponsors. The Web site, www.naugatuckriver.net, was developed to help river towns come together as one watershed community, tell the ongoing story of the river’s restoration, and promote its recreational opportunities including the Naugatuck River Greenway.
Thanks to the generosity of Iroquois Gas Transmission System of a $4,800 grant and Northeast Dutchess Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation of a $1,800 grant, HVA will restore Seven Wells Brook, a high profile stream in Dover Plains, New York. The project, located at the Dover Plaza along Route 22, will bring together adult volunteers and the technical expertise of HVA’s watershed science professionals to address an environmental problem—stormwater runoff, the #1 cause of river and stream pollution.
The banks of Seven Wells Brook, a cold-water stream that is home to native brook trout, have been cleared of natural vegetation and are severely eroded, allowing stormwater run-off and pollutants to flow directly into the stream. This project will restore the degraded buffers and eroding banks.
HVA will also organize a free public seminar about the importance of reducing pollution to improve water quality to improve the health of our streams and rivers. The session will be of particular interest to the general public, riparian landowners, municipal leaders, volunteer land use board members and public works employees.
And last but not least …
Preschoolers will learn about watershed, water quality and plants and animals in their neighborhood. This is made possible with a $2,526 grant from the Central Berkshire Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. The grant was awarded to the Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) to bring a watershed science program to students in the Head Start program at the Becket-Washington Elementary School.
Lessons will be held in and outside of the classroom taking advantage of the animals and plants that are in the students’ neighborhood. The overall focus is to develop the students’ understanding and appreciation of their watershed. Lessons will include topics such as water quality and conservation, the water cycle and the animals that share their backyard.