Fund Allocation Announced for 27 Projects Approved for the Housatonic River Basin Natural Resource Restoration Plan | CT Environmental Headlines

Jul 28th, 2009 | By | Category: River

Fund Allocation Announced for 27 Projects Approved for the Housatonic River Basin Natural Resource Restoration Plan: Plan Allocates Nearly $7.1 million for Restoring, Preserving and Protecting the Housatonic River Basin | CT Environmental Headlines: The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today announced that the final Housatonic River Basin Natural Resource Restoration Plan has been adopted by the Natural Resource Trustee SubCouncil. Now that the plan has been adopted, the USFWS will begin developing funding agreements with the sponsors of each approved project.

Projects to be funded include wetland habitat restoration on the lower Housatonic, a river fishery access in Newtown, a riverfront park system in Beacon Falls, and a waterfowl and migratory bird study on the Schaghticoke Indian Reservation. Note: The Restoration Plan will be officially adopted by the Trustees tonight, July 28, 2009 at 7 p.m. at the CT Trustee SubCouncil meeting at the Kent Town Hall – the public is invited. A complete list of projects will be available on the Housatonic Restoration website.

Funding for these proposed projects comes from a settlement with General Electric in 1999 that included $7.5 million for restoration projects in Connecticut 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, Massachusetts.

“Today is a landmark day for the beautiful Housatonic River, one of Connecticut’s many treasured natural resources,” said DEP Deputy Commissioner Susan Frechette. “Although the river has not always been protected as it should have been, the money allocated today will help all interested parties to restore and conserve critical habitats and improve recreational opportunities for the public.”

“The land protection and restoration projects are meant to compensate the public for years of Housatonic River contamination, and, as a Trustee of NOAA’s natural resources, I look forward to its completion” said Ken Finkelstein of NOAA. “Furthermore, the Restoration Plan enhances the revitalization and protection of fisheries habitat.”

The Natural Resource Trustee SubCouncil consists of the “Connecticut SubCouncil,” comprised of the Natural Resource Trustees from the State of Connecticut and the Federal Departments of the Interior (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) and Commerce (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

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