In 2019 NRWA focused on these legislative actions to protect the watershed AND THEY WERE PASSED:
1. Passing the State Water Plan. To provide that a public trust be retained in the water of the state. More information.
2. Banning Fracking Waste Statewide, first we helped pas bans in four watershed towns Redding, Ridgefield, Weston & Norwalk, then we supported the state ban.
3. A statewide ban on plastic bags. First we helped pass a local ban in Norwalk.
For the 2020 legislative session, we will focus on these important issues:
1. Plastic Pollution: We need to update CT’s Bottle BIll. We support a bill like 2019 HB 7294 to update and expand the bottle bill to keep it viable. More information here.
2. Pesticides: We support a bill like 2019 Pesticide Bill SB 76 that would give municipalities the right to make decisions about pesticide applications in their own towns. Letter from Beyond Pesticides that really explains the issue. Sample letter from Pollinator Pathway & Sample letter from Protect Our Pollinators. And we support a ban on the pesticide chlorpyrifos.
3. A bill protecting soil health.
Our Advocacy Work
The Norwalk River Watershed Association serves as a guardian of the watershed, voicing concerns about threats to the area’s environment through pollution, development, legislation and regulation. NRWA frequently submits comments and suggestions on proposed development of or new regulations related to the watershed.
Letter to Wilton Inland Wetland Commission regarding plans for development near wetlands at 200 Danbury Road.
Letter protesting the overfishing of menhaden by Omega Protein in Virginia
Letter advocating for the protection of Norden Place conservation easement
Letter protesting overfishing that threatens striped bass populations in the Sound
Letter supporting the Weston plastic bag ban and fee on paper bags
Letter supporting HB 76 regarding pesticide use autonomy by municipalities
Letter supporting a bill to support the transfer of brownfields designated as special taxing districts (like Gilbert & Bennett Wire Mill)
Letter supporting the 2019 bill to ban fracking waste state-wide
Letter supporting a pilot program allowing towns to raise money for open space using a 1% conveyance fee
Letter to Gov. Cuomo of New York regarding the proposed sale of Plum Island
Comments on the proposed redevelopment of ASML property at 77 Danbury Road, Wilton
Comments on the proposed development of Wilton Heights at 300 Danbury Road, Wilton
Suggestions for Norwalk POCD 2018
Suggestions for Wilton POCD 2018
Comments Opposing SB 427: AN ACT CONCERNING PUBLIC TRUST COMPONENTS OF THE STATE WATER PLAN, March 2018
Comments Supporting Charter Revision In Ridgefield Establishing Independant Inland Wetlands Board, March 2018
& More Information About the Ridgefield Charter Revision and How to Craft Your Letter
Comments Opposed to Federal Plans for Oil and Gas Drilling Offshore of CT, March 2018
Comments in Support of Banning Mosquito Misters, March 2018
Comments in Support of SB 103 A Bill To Ban Fracking Waste from CT, February 2018
WPC Draft State Water Plan, November 2017
CT DOT Plans for Redesigning the Route 7/Route 15 Interchange in Norwalk, October 2017
PURA Proposed acquisition of Aquarion Water by Eversource Energy, September 2017
CT DOT Walk Bridge Project, December 2016
CT DEEP Re: Proposed selection of the Norwalk River and the Norwalk Harbor embayment as candidates for water quality restoration work as part of Connecticut’s Integrated Water Resource Management Plan, June 2016
Board members represent the interests of the watershed by taking part in public hearings, workshops, and related committees and other Boards such as:
FCRCP (Fairfield County Regional Conservation Partnership)
Land Trusts and Conservation Commissions play an important role by preserving access to natural spaces, clean water, and healthy ecosystems, all of which contribute to the well-being of communities and individuals. The Fairfield County Regional Conservation Partnership (www.fcrcp.net) makes these land trusts and commissions stronger by integrating ideas, leadership, and outreach across town boundaries, allowing them to protect more land over broader scales.
NRWI (Norwalk River Watershed Initiative)
The Norwalk River Watershed Initiative (NRWI) is a partnership among the seven watershed municipalities; federal and state governments; conservation and environmental groups; businesses and, you, the public. Efforts are focused on our primary mission which is to protect and improve the quality of our water and overall health of our river, streams, lakes and wetlands. The Initiative strives to bring together the efforts and resources of other groups with a similar focus including The Norwalk River Watershed Association, Trout Unlimited, HarborWatch at Earthplace, the Norwalk River Valley Trail, and local schools and communities. NRWI goals and objectives seek to engage our entire watershed community which requires a balance between environmental concerns with community and business development interests. The greatest chance for success is when all are vested and work together pooling resources toward a common goal – water systems that are healthy, clean and dynamic.
Norwalk River Valley Trail
The Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT) project aims to build 38 miles of multi-purpose trail connecting Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, Connecticut, and Rogers Park in Danbury, passing through Wilton, Ridgefield, and Redding on the way.
In addition to creating recreational opportunities for walkers, hikers, cyclists, kids, pets and – on some stretches – equestrians, the NRVT will offer a green and healthy transportation alternative to reach rail stations, schools, offices, and businesses.
Earthplace’s Harbor Watch
Harbor Watch monitors a wide area of watershed from the Pequonnock River in Bridgeport to Holly Pond in Stamford in an attempt to protect and improve the biological integrity of Long Island Sound. It is the leading volunteer assisted water quality monitoring program in Fairfield County, which has inspired water quality activism throughout the region. Through this volunteer-driven model, the program simultaneously addresses Long Island Sound contamination issues and educates the environmental scientists of the future through hands-on research and experiential learning.
The Mianus Chapter of Trout Unlimited is part of a national conservation organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring our coldwater fisheries. As a conservation organization, the Mianus Chapter is primarily involved in active restoration work on local rivers and streams, but also promotes educational activities, hosts regular fishing outings and works with local and state agencies and regional environmental organizations to plan and implement conservation programs.