Spring 2016:

Join us Thursday afternoon, June 2nd
Inspiring Action: Real Stories of Social Change
A Harriet Beecher Stowe Center Event:
3-4 PM Inspiration to Action Fair
      Park Watershed with Hartford-area activists and organizations
4-5:30 PM Real Stories of Social Change
dialogue with Student Stowe Prize winners

Immanuel Congregational Church
10 Woodland Street, Hartford
At intersection of Woodland and Farmington Avenue, across from the Stowe Center

Park Watershed will be tabling at this a free public program that will precede the Student Stowe Prize Big Tent Jubilee. The Student Stowe Prize winners will join Hartford-area activists and organizations to share their passions and strategies for positive change.

Find Park Watershed on Facebook
Ct League of Conservation Voters Action Alerts
Rivers Alliance summary – current CT state policy issues

Thanks to Elizabeth Park Conservancy, Sharon Audubon Birds, Hartford Audubon Society, Audubon CT and US Fish & Wildlife Service for a marvelous April 21st
Celebration of Connecticut’s Bird-friendly Cities + 100 years of the International Migratory Bird Treaty
at Elizabeth Park Pond House

NOTE: Long Term Regional Environmental Health Issues

  • Public water sold at discount rates – Town of Bloomfield and The MDC have arranged for Niagra Bottling to receive $4.1 million dollar tax abatement as well as discount rates for industrial water and sewer services. Citizens are protesting financial incentives provided to Niagara, a private company located in California.
    Take Action – sign the No Niagara petition
    + Learn More at Bloomfield Facebook page
    about the lack of public process surrounding approval of a 443,000 sq’ (10 acre) industrial building that replaces farmland to manufacture 2.6 million plastic bottles daily. During a drought emergency, Niagara can continue to bottle 1.8 million gallons of water, at discount rates, until reservoirs are depleted to 10% of capacity.
  • Proposed Gas Pipelines through MDC Reservoir Property
    The Houston, Texas energy company, Kinder Morgan, has filed a pipeline expansion project with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The proposed “Northeast Energy Direct Project” (FERC Docket # PF14-22-000) will extensively expand capacity of existing gas pipelines, and connect pipeline routes from Marcellus Shale regions in Pennsylvania and upstate New York through New England to coastal ports. Kinder Morgan seeks FERC approval to expand an existing easement that travels through nearly 6 miles of MDC Reservoir property, which is Class I (closest to source) and Class II (also impacts source) land. If allowed by FERC, this pipeline will compromise Connecticut law that protects our drinking water. Pipeline construction, subsequent pipeline leaks, and routine pipeline cleaning will threaten the purity of our drinking water, as well as the natural environment that protects MDC Reservoirs. Contact elected officials to express your concern and request elected officials oppose the use of eminent domain to take private and public lands for pipeline construction. To learn more about this project, see description, and documents posted on Rivers Alliance of Connecticut website.
  • South Branch Park River Flood Control System Maintenance Project
    work along Trout Brook in West Hartford, Piper Brook in Newington and the
    South Branch Park River in Hartford, see project information posted by
    Ct Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
  • Connecticut Water Planning Council: The Park River regional watershed overlaps the seven of the eight voting member towns of the MDC, which supplies clean drinking water to approximately 1/3 of Connecticut. Due to sprawling development, population growth has outpaced the sustainability of water supplies. The State of Ct has begun an extensive assessment of state water supply along with current and projected usage.  The abundant supply of clean drinking water is key to the redevelopment of  vibrant high-density communities within a fabric of healthy neighborhood parks, greenways and open spaces throughout the watershed.  To learn more about the State Water Planning Council, see the Ct DEEP description, and updates from Rivers Alliance of Ct or review Agenda and Meeting Minutes.
  • Meanwhile, we continue working on site specific issues with stakeholders in various areas of the watershed, including issues pertaining to Trout Brook, Bass Brook, Gully Brook, and the North Branch Park River. We are also gathering a citizen summary of conditions and concerns throughout the watershed.  Contact us to share information about environmental issues (good and bad) in your neighborhood. If your group would like to learn more about urban-suburban stewardship, contact us to schedule a Park Watershed presentation.

ALSO – on-going federal and regional policy and planning issues:

  • WATERS OF THE USA, remains an important, on-going local and national topic. Although the public comment period for the rule closed on November 14, 2014, the rule still needs to pass through the US House and Senate before becoming law. The rule will help to clarify the value of healthy water quality in upstream tributaries such as Trout Brook, Piper Brook, and Bass Brook that converge as the South Branch; and tributaries such as Wash Brook, Tumble Brook, Beamans Brook, and Filley Brook that converge into the North Branch of the Park River. The convergence of the North and South Branches, and Gully Brook form the Park River that flows into the navigable waters of the Connecticut River, which is the largest source of fresh water to the Long Island Sound.Learn more: Read the two page proposed definition of “Waters of the United States” by EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers. Due to recent Supreme Court decisions, this clarification of the scope of waters protected under the 1972 Clean Water Act is now needed.  For further information, see the US EPA website, Waters of the USA.

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