Three of HVA's project requests have made it into the final draft for approval for Natural Resource Damages funds (NRD).
Those projects are:
Restoring riverfront habitat and building a low-impact river access that is handicapped accessible at the bend in the River in West Cornwall (just south of the covered bridge) ... $223,000. Our partners include the fishing groups;
Improving stream health and fish habitat in Furnace Brook just upstream from where it enters into the Housatonic River in Cornwall Bridge ... $75,000. Our partners include the landowners and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection; and
Purchasing significant farmland and riverfront habitat for fishing access and river protection along the Housatonic River in Sharon (an HVA priority for four years). Our partners include the Sharon Land Trust and farmers.
Our partners in New Milford also made it through the final draft, including the Mayor's plan to restore the riverfront at Youngs Field Road in downtown New Milford (another HVA priority) and the Conservation District with plans to protect a bird sanctuary along the west bank of the river near downtown.
Farther south, another HVA priority made it through via the Valley Regional Planning agency's project to restore O'Sullivan's Island in the River between Derby and Shelton. It is a substantial restoration and recreation project that has percolated for years and with this grant, needed funds will finish the job.
Public comments were heard through mid-April. Response to the comments are due back to the public in May. Final compliance determination with the National Environmental Policy Act is scheduled for mid-June. Final approval by the end of June. Funds are anticipated by the fall.