Comprised of scientists from the four states the river touches, the Connecticut River conservation team works across state lines to understand the river for what it is — the center of the largest freshwater ecosystem in New England. The Connecticut sustains diverse landscapes and communities, and provides one of the last remaining homes for many threatened species.
When the four Conservancy chapters in states through which the river flows came together to launch the Connecticut River program, they faced the reality that the whole river — all 410 miles of it — is a conservation priority. It isn’t just one marsh in Connecticut or some tributaries in Massachusetts that are ecologically significant, but the entire ecosystem.
A river doesn’t stop when it reaches the state line, nor does a shad or an osprey that is following its winding course. But threats cross borders, too, and years of intense human use have disrupted the natural flow that nourishes our fisheries and the riverside forests that protect us from floods and filter pollution before it reaches our waters.
The Nature Conservancy has been working in the Connecticut River landscape for more than 40 years. The Conservancy's first land acquisition in the watershed was 46 acres at Burnham Brook in East Haddam, Ct., in 1960. To date, we have protected nearly a quarter-million acres in the watershed.
In addition to protecting land, we also work to restore critical processes and features like natural stream flow, connectivity and intact floodplains across our four states, because we believe that working at the scale of the problem is the only way to make a meaningful difference. Securing these natural processes now is a necessary part of securing our future.
For more information about The Nature Conservancy’s Connecticut River program or to support our work in your state, please contact:
Connecticut River Basin
The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts
99 Bedford Street, 5th Floor
Boston, Massachusetts 02111
Phone: (617) 532-8300
Fax: (617) 532-8400
The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut
55 Church Street, Floor 3
New Haven, CT 06510-3029
Phone: (203) 568-6270
Fax: (860) 344-1334
The Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire
22 Bridge Street, 4th Floor
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: (603) 224-5853
Fax: (603) 228-2459
The Nature Conservancy of Vermont
27 State Street, Suite 4
Montpelier, VT 05602
Phone: (802) 229-4425
Fax: (802) 229-1347
How We Work on the Connecticut River
Dams rearrange natural river flows that have choreographed freshwater life cycles for millennia, but many also provide energy, flood control and water for people. Read how the Conservancy is using science and partnership to help us resolve the water management dilemma
Hydro-power has a long history on the Connecticut River. Now during a once-in-50-years re-licensing process for dams, Conservancy scientists are providing critical input to find ways to manage these facilities in a way that benefits the river ecosystem and the communities that depend upon it. See how.
Farming and floodplain forest restoration have made a happy marriage at Maidstone Bends in Vermont. See what you help accomplish!
Allen and Missy Rosenshine show how your support ensures clean water, connected habitats and secure communities along New England's longest river. See what you've helped us do in 2013.
The Conservancy's collaboration with the Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge works at the watershed scale. Explore!
Volunteers help plant the stately trees along the Connecticut River, restoring floodplain forests in the process. See how they're rebuilding these rare forests ... one tree at a time.
For more than 200 years, floodplain forests along the Connecticut River and its tributaries have been destroyed and degraded. Now, scientists are rediscovering and restoring these streamside forests as a way to ease the impact of climate change. Learn more
There are more than 2,600 dams and about 44,000 road-stream crossings in the Connecticut River watershed; many of them present problems for people and nature. Could “greening” this infrastructure help sustain ecosystems and the economy?