Julia Perkins, NewsTimes
The Housatonic Valley Association has received a combined $137,000 in grants that will support efforts to improve water quality in Connecticut and New York.
With about $86,600 of the monies, the association will work with Corazón Latino and the Housatonic Habitat for Humanity in Danbury to install rain gardens at five Habitat homes and one community facility in western Connecticut.
The homes will likely be in Danbury, New Milford and Washington, although this hasn’t been finalized, a spokeswoman said. The facility is yet to be determined.
The association said this will demonstrate their “value in protecting water quality and restoring pollinator habitat.”
“Through multilingual education activities, the project will also engage residents and communities in how to protect local and Long Island Sound water health,” the announcement from the association stated.
The grants come from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Long Island Sound Futures Fund, in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Long Island Sound Study, and the Long Island Sound Funders Collaborative.
The money is meant to benefit the Housatonic River, Long Island Sound, and Wells Brook, a tributary of the Ten Mile River in the Dover, New York area.
“The Housatonic is the second-largest source of freshwater drainage to Long Island Sound; only the Connecticut River contributes more. This kind of work in the Housatonic watershed is absolutely critical to the long-term health and resilience of the Sound,” Mike Jastremski, HVA’s watershed conservation director, said in a statement. “We’re so grateful to NFWF (National Fish and Wildlife Foundation) and their funding partners for recognizing the value of our work to restore and protect the health of the Housatonic. There’s still lots of work to do, but this funding will make a big difference.”
Another grant will go toward constructing “Green Infrastructure” practices in Dover, N.Y. The entails using nature-based techniques to reduce polluted stormwater runoff and restore wildlife habitat at two paved commercial locations in the Ten Mile River watershed.
The association said this should prevent more than 17 pounds of nitrogen from entering Wells Brook and downstream waters every year, while stopping several other pollutants from entering this high-quality Ten Mile River tributary.
The Housatonic Valley Association is a core partner with a Save the Sound project that also earned a grant through this fund.
The groups will create comprehensive plans for two towns in the Naugatuck River watershed. These plans will identify the most important bridge and culvert replacement projects for improving fish and wildlife habitat and reducing flood risk.