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Housatonic River Basin Natural Resources Restoration Plan

Housatonic RiverIn 2009, the Connecticut SubCouncil Trustees released the Housatonic River Basin Final Natural Resources Restoration Plan, Environmental Assessment, and Environmental Impact Evaluation for Connecticut funding 27 projects aimed at restoring, rehabilitating or acquiring the equivalent of the natural resources and recreational uses of the Housatonic River that were injured by the release of PCBs from the GE facility in Pittsfield, Mass. Funding for these projects comes from a 1999 settlement with General Electric that included $7.75 million for projects in Connecticut, and grew to more than $9 million in an interest-bearing account. The Plan provided $7 million to 27 projects, across three restoration categories:

  • Aquatic natural resources (approximately $1.7 million),
  • Riparian and floodplain natural resources (approximately $2.8 million), and
  • Recreational use of natural resources (approximately $2.6 million).

Paddling on the Housatonic RiverSince the actual cost of the aquatic natural resource projects was substantially less than the riparian and recreational use projects, the Trustee SubCouncil reserved a portion of the settlement to fund future projects in this category, through amendments to the plan, and those remaining settlement funds have grown to more than $2 million in an interest-bearing fund. In June 2013, the Trustees released Final Amendment to the Housatonic River Basin Final Natural Resources Restoration Plan, Environmental Assessment, and Environmental Impact Evaluation for Connecticut, describing 7 additional aquatic restoration projects that will be implemented.

Proposals for the 27 projects awarded funding under the original Housatonic River Basin Final Natural Resources Restoration Plan, as well all proposals submitted for funding under the Final Amendment to the Housatonic River Basin Final Natural Resources Restoration Plan, Environmental Assessment, and Environmental Impact Evaluation for Connecticut are available below.

Original Project Proposals

Project: Audubon Carse Brook Wetlands Restoration

Project Sponsor: Audubon Sharon

Supplemental Information    Project Map    Summary Report

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image of water leveler

Project: Ball Pond and Shortwoods Brooks Water Quality Improvement and Pedestrian Access

Project Sponsor: Town of New Fairfield

Supplemental Information   2013 Dunham Pond Invasive Species Management Plan

2015 Report

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trail at ball pond

Project: Ballantine Park Streambank Restoration/Stabilization

Project Sponsor: Town of Southbury

Supplemental Information    Pomperaug River Restoration   Final Performance Report

Project: Beacon Falls Riverfront Park System

Project Sponsor: Town of Beacon Falls

Supplemental Information    Riverbend Park Concept Plan    Riverbend aerial photo

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Construction of the current break boulders at the canoe/kayak launch site. Route 8 overpass in the background.

Project: Blackberry River Fish Passage Restoration

Project Sponsor: CT DEEP Inland Fisheries

Supplemental Information

Project: Campville Fishing Access

Project Sponsor: Town of Harwinton

Supplemental Information

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Harwinton fishing access.

Project: "Car-top" Boat Launches in the Town of Kent

Project Sponsor: Town of Kent

Supplemental Information

Project: Conservation of the Frost and CL&P Riverfront Properties in Sharon, CT

Project Sponsor: Housatonic Valley Association

Supplemental Information     County Times News Article-Belter property

County Times News Article-Frost property    Final Performance Report

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student volunteers

Project: Fish Ladder Repair and Riparian Vegetation Restoration, Cornwall

Project Sponsor: Housatonic Valley Association

Supplemental Information    Register Citizen article

HVA Today article    2015 Report    Final Report

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Fish Ladder

Project: Habitat Restoration on Housatonic River: Control of Non-native Invasive Plants (Phragmites)

Project Sponsor: CT DEEP Wildlife Division

Supplemental Information    2012 Report    2013 Report    2014 Report    2015 Report

Project: Halfway River Fishery Access

Project Sponsor: Town of Newtown

Supplemental Information

Project: Housatonic and Naugatuck Watershed Trout Stocking and Stream Improvement

Project Sponsor: Naugatuck/Pomperaug Chapter Trout Unlimited

Supplemental Information    2015 Report

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student volunteers looking for macroinvertebrates

Project: Housatonic Valley River Trail

Project Sponsor: USDA/NRCS King's Mark

Supplemental Information

Project: Increased Law Enforcement Patrols at Bull's Bridge and Other Problem Areas

Project Sponsor: CT DEEP Inland Fisheries and Law Enforcement

Supplemental Information    2011 Report    2012 Report     2013 Report    2014 Report

Project: Indian Fields Wildlife Preserve

Project Sponsor: NW Conservation District

Supplemental Information   Native Meadows Management Plan (2012)

Floodplain along the Housatonic River.

A 25-acre floodplain along the Housatonic River in New Milford was permanently protected by the Northwest Conservation District. A parking area and trail have been installed to provide access to the public. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Project: O'Sullivan's Island Peninsula Riverbank Restoration and Enhancement

Project Sponsor: Valley Council of Governments

Supplemental Information    New Haven Register article    CT Post article

Project: Recreational Easements and Riparian Buffer Zones for Housatonic Basin Streams

Project Sponsor: DEEP Land Acquisition and Management

Supplemental Information

Project: Restoration of Coarse Woody Habitat Housatonic River Main Stem Impoundments

Project Sponsor: CT B.A.S.S. Federation

Supplemental Information

Project: Salmon Creek/Housatonic River Land Protection

Project Sponsor: The Nature Conservancy

Supplemental Information     2016 Final Report

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Shady Maple Farm

Project: Salmon Kill Restoration and Enhancement

Project Sponsor: Trout Unlimited

Supplemental Information    Republican American Article

Trout Unlimited Blog    Salmon Kill Restoration and Enhancement Final Report

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group photo of student volunteers

Twenty students from Housatonic Valley Regional High School planted more than 140 shrubs and saplings as part of the Trout Unlimited project to restore riparian habitat on the Salmon Kill River. TU hopes to rehabilitate floodplain forest and riparian forested habitat, restore eroded stream banks, and enhance in-stream habitat to benefit native brook trout and wild brown trout populations.

Project: Schaghticoke Indian Reservation Car Top Boat, Canoe, Kayak Access Ramp

Project Sponsor: Schaghticoke Tribal Nation Environmental Committee

Supplemental Information    Withdrawal Letter

Project: Sega Meadows Park River Enhancement

Project Sponsor: Town of New Milford

Supplemental Information    Final Report

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Sega pond before

Project: Transylvania Brook Culvert Crossing at East Flat Hill Road

Project Sponsor: Town of Southbury

Supplemental Information

Project: Upper Housatonic Riparian Vegetation, Shoreline and Recreational Access Improvements

Project Sponsor: Housatonic Valley Association

Supplemental Information

Project: Waterfowl - Woodcock Study for Habitat Creation

Project Sponsor: Schaghticoke Tribal Nation Environmental Committee

Supplemental Information

Project: Wimisink Preserve Restoration and Access

Project Sponsor: Naromi Land Trust, Inc.

Supplemental Information    Report    Articles

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Wimisink boardwalk

Project: Youngsfield Park Riverwalk and Greenway

Project Sponsor: Town of New Milford

Supplemental Information     Youngs Field Final Performance Report

Grand Opening – River Trail, Boat Launch and Fishing Platform

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Riverwalk at Youngsfield Park.

Amendment Project Proposals

Project: Power Line Marsh Housatonic River Habitat Restoration Project

Project Sponsor: CT DEEP

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A finished pool created for wildlife use. Excavated material is pushed to an upland edge or spread and groomed on the adjacent marsh which revegetates in 1 to 2 growing seasons.

Project: Restoration and Research of American Eel (Anguilla rostrata) in the Housatonic River Watershed

Project Sponsor: Housatonic Environmental Action League, Inc.

Project: Housatonic Watershed Habitat Continuity in Northwest Connecticut

Project Sponsor: Housatonic Valley Association

Habitat Continuity Report Final

Project: Heminway Pond Dam Removal, Steele Brook, Aquatic Natural Resources Restoration/Enhancement

Project Sponsor: Town of Watertown

Project: Leetes Island Tidal Marsh Habitat Restoration Project

Project Sponsor: CT DEEP

Project: Long Beach West Tidal Marsh Habitat Restoration Project

Project Sponsor: CT DEEP

Project Withdrawal Letter

Project: McKinney NWR Great Meadows Unit, Stratford, Connecticut Conceptual Marsh Restoration

Project Sponsor: Lordship Point/Raymark Trustee Council

Project maps

Project: Old Papermill Pond Dam Fish Passage Project

Project Sponsor: Ousatonic Fish and Game Club

Project: Removal of Pin Shop Pond Dam

Project Sponsor: The Old Pin Shop, LLC

Project: Tingue Dam Bypass Channel

Project Sponsor:  CT DEEP

(Application for NOAA Coastal and Marine Habitat Restoration Project Grants Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) This project is primarily being funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; Housatonic NRD funds will only be applied should there be a budget shortfall.

Project Contacts

Name  Organization  Phone  Email
Ken Finkelstein Ph.D.(Trustee) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 617-918-1499 ken.finkelstein@noaa.gov
Rick Jacobson (Trustee) Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection 

860-424-3482 

rick.jacobson@ct.gov
Molly Sperduto (Trustee) United States Fish and Wildlife Service 603-223-2541 molly_sperduto@fws.gov
Robin Blum Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection  860-424-4137 robin.blum@ct.gov


Fact Sheet

Housatonic River Basin Final Natural Resources Restoration Plan

Amendment to the Housatonic River Basin Final Natural Resources Restoration Plan, Environmental Assessment, and Environmental Impact Evaluation for Connecticut

Related Links

Republican American Article, September 2014

EPA's Housatonic River Site

Massachusett's Housatonic River Natural Resource Restoration

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Damage Assessment and Restoration Program

U.S. Department of the Interior Natural Resources Damage Assessment and Restoration Program 

For additional information, please contact Robin Blum, CT DEEP Eastern District Headquarters, 209 Hebron Road, Marlborough, CT 06447.

Content last updated February 14, 2020.