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Conserving the Connecticut River

“The lower Connecticut River is home to us and millions of others, too, and who knows how many fish and flora? People and nature are interdependent – we need each other to survive. So we all have a stake in restoring the health and beauty of the river and its watershed.”
- Allen Rosenshine
Donate today and help secure healthy Connecticut River for nature and people.

As residents of the Connecticut River watershed, Allen and Missy Rosenshine know firsthand the benefits this great river provides – from recreation opportunities to clean drinking water and productive fish habitat.

The river is New England’s largest and longest, and its watershed provides water and essential services to 4.3 million people in New England.
Those services are threatened by growing conservation challenges, including dams, which block fish passage, change river flows and cause unhealthy sediment buildup.

With your support, The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut is leading the effort to make this river great once more by re-managing flows, reconnecting habitat and restoring the river and its floodplains.

  • Conservancy scientists are providing critical input during a once-in-50-years relicensing process for five large hydroelectric facilities on the Connecticut River. Our sophisticated river-flow modeling will help operators re-manage how dams hold and release water to more closely replicate natural flows.
  • Partnering with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and StanChem, Inc., the Conservancy built a new fishway in East Berlin that reconnects 50 miles of habitat on the Mattabesset River and its tributaries. For the first time in 100 years, fish such as American shad and alewife can reach spawning grounds upstream.
  • This spring, our scientists continued work to restore disease-tolerant American elms to Connecticut’s floodplains by taking cuttings from old “survivor” elms and crossing them with new hardy specimens. Elms serve as a natural filter for drinking water and natural infrastructure for flood protection.
  • The Connecticut General Assembly adopted Conservancy-supported legislation to encourage water conservation, mandating water utilities and regulators structure rates so as not to penalize water supply companies for encouraging their customers to use less water.

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