FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) has been awarded two grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Long Island Sound Futures Fund (LISFF), in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Long Island Sound Study, and the Long Island Sound Funders Collaborative, to improve the health of the Housatonic River and Long Island Sound.
HVA received just over $137,000 in grant funds to support two projects, one in Connecticut and the other in New York.
The first focuses on improving water quality. In partnership with Housatonic Habitat for Humanity and Corazón Latino, HVA will install rain gardens at five Habitat homes and one community facility in western Connecticut, then conduct multilingual education and outreach about stormwater runoff mitigation. The project will show that rain gardens protect water quality and restore pollinator habitat and will highlight actions residents and communities can take to protect and enhance local and Long Island Sound water health.
HVA will partner with Rennia Engineering Design, PLLC on the second project, which will construct “Green Infrastructure” practices at two paved commercial locations in the Ten Mile River watershed in Dover, New York. Green Infrastructure uses nature-based techniques to reduce polluted stormwater runoff and restore wildlife habitat. This work will prevent over 17 pounds of Nitrogen from entering Wells Brook and downstream waters every year, and will stop several other pollutants from entering this high-quality Ten Mile River tributary.
“The Housatonic is the second-largest source of freshwater drainage to Long Island Sound; only the Connecticut River contributes more. Doing this kind of work in the Housatonic watershed is absolutely critical to the long-term health and resilience of the Sound,” said Mike Jastremski, HVA’s Watershed Conservation Director. “We’re so grateful to NFWF 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.”
HVA is also a core partner in a NFWF LISFF grant awarded to Save the Sound, which will create comprehensive Road-Stream Crossing Management Plans (RSCMPs) for two towns in the Naugatuck River watershed. RSCMPs identify the most important bridge and culvert replacement projects for improving fish and wildlife habitat and reducing flood risk. HVA developed the RSCMP process and will share tools and lessons learned with Save the Sound and other partners through this project.
“We’re so excited to see this comprehensive planning process being utilized by partners and are looking forward to supporting Save the Sound as they create RSCMP for towns in the Naugatuck Valley,” Lindsay Larson, HVA’s Connecticut Watershed Manager said. “We hope this project will inspire other partners to build capacity to do this work elsewhere in the Long Island Sound watershed.
NFWF awarded 39 grants through the LISFF for conservation projects that will reach over 290,000 residents around the Long Island Sound watershed of Connecticut, New York, and Vermont.
About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 5,000 organizations and generated a conservation impact of $6.8 billion. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.
About the Long Island Sound Study
The Long Island Sound Study, developed under the EPA’s National Estuary Program, is a cooperative effort between the EPA and the states of Connecticut and New York to protect and restore the Sound and its ecosystem. To learn more about the Long Island Sound Study, visit www.longislandsoundstudy.net.
About Housatonic Valley Association
HVA is uniquely committed to achieving climate resilience and environmental health across the entire Housatonic River watershed, for this and future generations. We work with our partners to restore and protect lands, waters, and wildlife. Spanning just under 2,000 square miles, the Housatonic watershed stretches from the Berkshires in western Massachusetts and the Taconics in eastern New York through western Connecticut and south to Long Island Sound. Learn more at www.hvatoday.org.
Contact: Kelley Hall, Communications & Engagement Manager